Sunday, July 30, 2006

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bribe whomever needed to be bribed...

I think the easiest thing in the world is to sacrifice for your children. Parents who give up time or material possesions or meals or their lives for their children aren´t all that heoric. People who give up a kidney for an ailing uncle...again, I don't think they deserve any great kudos. (Not that people usually do things like that for kudos anyhow.) But sacrifices for family memebers, even ones you don´t like, aren't all that amazing to me either. Slightly more impressive is the sacrifice for a stranger. Pretty few people do that on a regular basis.
But the one thing that truely boggles my mind is sacrifice to an idea. Not only that, but an idea that perhaps not everyone is behind. Although I respect soldiers who fight to protect their homeland, that´s not who I´m talking about. They get room and board and training and supplies, they have going-away parades and the support of their country, they have sargents telling them where to go and what to do and when to do it.
I´m talking about people who go against those stronger than they are to stand up for ideas more fragile than themselves. When the punishment is pain, loss of possesions, a home, friends, social standing, respect, death, the death of loved ones, or any number of other things mearly to stand up for something like freedom of religion, equal rights, and other ideas, I don´t know if I could do it. Am I the person that Bennie is talking about below?

"Those who would give up a little freedom to gain a little security, deserve neither the security or the freedom."
-- Benjamin Franklin.

I think I might. If it came down to being able to speak my mind about the government or being driven out of my comfy and expensive home, which would I chose? If it came down to looking the other way while my neighbors were persecuted against because of their religion, would I stand up for them and bring the wrath down upon myself and my family?
You know who my new hero is? You know the guy in Tiananmen square? Of course you do, the man holding a bag, standing in front of a line of tanks, The Unknown Rebel. There's a guy standing up for a cause. And the other unknown hero in this historical event? The tank driver who refused to run him over. Did these people have family? What sort of retribution occured? No one really knows for sure what happened to either of these people.
I imagine that if I was young and felt strongly enough, I would fight in a war if my country was attacked while in a combat unit with a sargent telling me when to attack and when to fire with the support of my family and country. But what if it was an underground resistance against the government? What if I never knew who to trust? What if we were outnumbered and never had enough money or supplies? What if I knew exactly how slim the the chances of succes were? What if I had children who might be targeted because of my actions? What would I do then? I imagine I would stay quietly at home and look the other way and bribe whomever needed to be bribed and say whatever needed to be said.