By Ron Ewart
Just shy of twenty years ago, on June 5, 1989, in the incident in Tiananmen Square, China, a lone and very brave, if not somewhat foolish man, stood out in front of a row of battle tanks, using his body as a symbol of protest against dictatorial authority. This nameless man managed to stop the advance of the tanks by moving in front of the first tank, every time it positioned to go around him. Later, the man jumped up on the tank and had a conversation with the driver. On-lookers managed to pull him off of the tank and he was absorbed into the watching crowd. One eyewitness to the event believes that the man was hauled away by secret police, tortured and then executed, as the man never appeared in public again and the Chinese government could not, or would not, produce him. Although many accounts purport to know what happened to him, the "tank" man's name or his final fate, has never been verified.
But what is most important in this story is not what the man did and the courage it took to do it, but how his courageous actions affected others. Because you see, courage is infectious. One man, in act of selfless bravery, with no regard for his own safety, by stopping those tanks, even briefly, started the germination of a seed of freedom in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people, held in bondage, but longing to be free, all around the world. Out of those tens of thousands another individual will stand up, and then another and then another, because you see, courage is infectious. Courage is akin to the theory of the "butterfly effect". The theory states that in a non-linear dynamic system, such as the weather, a butterfly could flap its wings in Guiana and trigger a hurricane in the North Atlantic.
Out of fear of losing ones' life or possessions, most people prefer to remain obscure, not wanting to draw attention to themselves, especially if that attention should come from agents of a tyrannical government. Tyrannical governments torture and kill people, or put them in concentration camps for extended periods. Some unjust governments, in order to maintain strong-arm control of the masses, will pass tens of thousands (or millions) of laws and then fine, penalize or incarcerate individuals or groups that won't "bend under the will of the almighty law". Who but the very courageous would put themselves at that kind of risk?
But a strange thing happens when one man (or woman) stands out amongst the rest and demonstrates exceptional bravery. He, or she, affects some of the observers in a very positive way, in which some of those observers want to emulate that bravery ..... and some do.
In a meeting where the leader will ask for volunteers for a difficult task, one hand will go up, then a pause, then another hand will go up, then all at once a bunch of hands go up, all because one man or woman, catalyzed the rest by having the courage to be the first to volunteer.
On the battle field, one man, risking everything, motivated by emotions of unbridled anger, or rage over something that happened to one of his buddies, will attack the enemy single handedly, from whence heroes are born. In many cases, that single act of courage incites others to follow him, from whence wars are won.
Today, all across America, exceptional bravery is being exhibited by more and more individuals who have had enough and have decided to "stand up". That was demonstrated in a sudden and inspirational movement to organize tea parties in hundreds of cities throughout the country ..... an idea triggered by someone named Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Exchange, on TV, who finally had enough of government nationalizing industries, bank and business bailouts, zillion dollar stimulus packages and other unconstitutional insanity coming out of Washington DC and the White House and decided to "stand up". So one act of courage started a whole bunch of single acts of courage, from thousands of citizens all over the United States. Courage was and is infectious.
America needs you. If any of you are really angry about what has happened to this great land and you are perched on the brink of "standing up", we encourage you to find the courage to do so. Because your one act of courage will incite others to emulate you and from hence our Republic will be reborn in an unquenchable and unstoppable cry for liberty.
After 100 years of moving away from freedom, we are truly at a crossroads and the fate of our cherished America could go either way. But "just one act of courage" by just one person, might very well make the difference between freedom and perpetual enslavement. If you stand up, you could be the "butterfly" that "flaps its wings" in Arizona and starts an uprising in Michigan. The seeds of freedom have already been sewn by many single acts of courage and the "butterflies" are poised to take wing. Others, less courageos and sitting on the sidelines, are waiting for you to make the first move.
Perhaps the song that we wrote on YouTube entitled "Freedom Is A Right", will help you to make up your mind to stretch your wings and take "flight", in a selfless act to "stand up" for freedom.
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