OPINION – When is the last time you felt so strongly about something that you were compelled to take action? Just so we’re clear, I mean something more substantial than anonymously pounding a computer keyboard or preaching to a sympathetic choir.
I’m talking about taking a stand on something you cherish so dearly that you’re willing to risk your life, your reputation, or your financial stability.
Judging by the comments that attend each news story on the current establishment power struggle, there’s no shortage of complainers. But where are the people with the courage to suffer the cost of putting their beliefs into action?
This question goes far beyond the current political theater being played out by members of both parties in Washington D.C. It encompasses more than simply political matters. It could easily apply to family or community deficiencies that cannot be ignored. When the time comes to make a stand, very few people appear willing to draw a line in the sand and say, “it stops here.”
For instance, suppose your 7-year-old son was suspended from school for chewing his pop tart into the shape of a gun and saying, “Bang, bang.” Would you as a parent fall into lockstep with school administrators and accept the punishment as just? Would you offer some token grumbling about the school’s overreaction and send the boy back after his suspension with the admonition to avoid anything gun-shaped?
Or would you rescue him from the clutches of an authoritarian system by removing him from the reach of those government functionaries and educating him at home or privately?
Obviously, there would be a price to pay for doing so. To home-school requires real effort and a significant investment of your time. To put the youngster in a private school would require an expenditure of income. But the real measure of how strongly a person values their child’s well-being is found in their willingness to pay those costs rather than make excuses.
Other associated costs might include enduring the disdain of school administrators whose controlling nature is offended that you’d choose to deny your child the blessings of their compulsory ministrations. Family members will question your decision over concerns that your child’s “socialization” will inhibit his ability to conform to the expectations of social engineers.
The sad truth is that those who are unwilling to bear the costs of pulling their child out of a toxic zero-tolerance environment are likely mired in apathy.
Widespread societal apathy is one of the primary reasons for the kind of overbearing, increasingly dictatorial nature of government at virtually every level.
It is why we have a federal government that claims the authority to spy on us, to tax us excessively, to deny us due process, and to murder anyone it claims is a threat to national security. Few people, outside of government, would openly defend such practices. But a great many people are apathetically allowing these policies to take root and spread by opposing them with pitiful, submissive mewling.
Bill Branon offers each of us a timely kick in the seat of the pants when he writes:
On too many occasions in the history of civilization, people have accepted authority without subjecting authority to rational examination. A complacent population leaves itself wide open to control. Eventually the abusive bureaucracy demands too much. The result is either revolt or subjugation. Perhaps the problem is not in the power of the abuser; perhaps the problem is with the individual who is willing to submit. Free men and women need not apologize for being enraged by arrogance in government.
So why don’t more people act? It’s the leverage of our fears that allows government to back us further into the corner. The strongest antidote to fear is action.
That action can take many different forms. It could include jumping the fence and enjoying a national park that has been shut down, even when threatened with citations and fines. It could include stepping up and providing the necessary manpower to open and staff those parks from a state and local level.
It could mean putting one’s foot down with a calm and unwavering declaration of, “No. I will not comply.”
As Aristotle noted, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees the others.”
Such actions, combined with an absolute willingness to bear the costs of resistance will get results. More importantly, it will inspire the courage in others to pay the price.
- Perspectives: Pop-Tart guns are real, just ask a 7-year-old
- Shutdown: ‘Paralysis in Washington’ leaves counties asking governor for aid
- Perspectives: To make our live as difficult as they can
- Shutdown: ‘Occupy Zion’ protesters defy national park gates
- Shutdown: Visitors ignore closure order, Grand Canyon National Park reacts with closure of Highway 64
- Shutdown impacts Springdale, Washington County tourism
- Bryce Canyon businesses say ‘it’s hurting bad;’ impact of government shutdown, alternatives for tourists – Includes alternatives for tourists
- Shutdown: Zion National park closes, what else is affected? – Includes alternatives for tourists
- Utah congressmen speak to government shutdown
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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