My driving motivation was simply to be liked, accepted and to do a good job.
Billy’s inability to communicate led him to commit a crime that was entirely avoidable. Under duress, he found himself without words, locked inside. As a result and in immense frustration, he resorted to violence and was punished with death. Claggart was responsible for the Machiavellian and calculated attack on Billy, however it was Billy’s reaction that sealed his fate.
The history of mankind is in many ways, a story of good and evil.
We have proven, if nothing else, that we are capable of the most noble of intentions and actions, but also of the deepest and darkest malevolence. The lesson that Billy Budd serves to highlight for me is that when faced with such evil, we have a choice.
For my part, I need not have chosen to take the stage or, having taken the microphone, could have referred questions to the side or to the session break. Instead I bought into the ‘evil’, panicked and paid the price. Billy Budd too, had alternatives open to him. Yet, his choice to subvert his truth for lies, took a disproportionate and untimely toll.