On a recent visit to the store I mentioned in my post "The Grass is Always Greener," owned by the Pakistani immigrant, I asked him if he had Internet service at home. He said, "No, why?"
I told him about that post and suggested he pass the idea on to his brother back home in Pakistan, the brother who was complaining about how bad life was there.
That prompted a lengthy discussion which started out with, "Yes, but you have to understand that if we speak up, they'll kill us. Look at so-and-so, you know who that person is, right? They stood up for us, and the government killed them. And they killed so-and-so, and so-and-so, and so-and-so. If we speak up or fight for our rights, we get killed."
So I reminded him about the part of my post where I said that the government can't kill everyone, because if they did, they'd have no one to bully around and be the lord over. You can't be king without subjects to be king over. But it was hard for him to accept. So I asked him, "Are the freedom and rights of your children not worth fighting and dying for?" He couldn't argue that point.
Then, I reminded him that America wasn't made in one day. It didn't come into existence with freedoms, rights, and priveleges already in place. We've been fighting and insisting on them for over 200 years now. They were built bit by bit, piece by piece, and lots of people were killed over them in the process. We've even fought three wars to have them, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War ... all to gain the freedom, rights, and privileges we enjoy today.
He replied, "But you are talking about revolution!" "Yes," I replied. That's exactly what it is. Revolution is when you, the people, stand up and INSIST on a better way of life. Revolution is when you the people INSIST that things change. And that's usually what it takes to get things changed. The evil dictator isn't going to allow you to change his laws.
The evil dictator wants you to be poor and ignorant. He wants you to fear him. That's his power over you.
So my friend then mentioned the teachings of a prominent person in his country who advocates education, who teaches "knowledge is power," and tells everyone that no matter what, they should get an education. I agreed with him that knowlege is important. But I also reminded him that just having the education is not enough. You have to USE the knowlege as well. He couldn't argue with that either.
Instead, he brought God into the subject, and started telling me that his fellow countrymen are required to FEAR God. Holy Cow! "What kind of nonsense is that?" I asked. "God is not the one you should have to fear. God is the one who's on YOUR side, right?"
Well, he couldn't refute that point either. In the end, he asked if I would print out my post and bring him a copy. I will. And maybe I'll bring him a copy of this post too.
You know, we always like to whine that one person doesn't make a difference, that one person can't change anything. But I think that's a wrong way of thinking. I think that's a way of letting the evil dictator, the greedy king, and the rotten president maintain control over us.
One person CAN make a difference, because one person doesn't have to do it all. All one person has to do is get the ball rolling.
So please remember that. You may only be ONE insignificant person, but when you speak up, you pass your thoughts on to others, who, in turn, pass those thoughts on to even more others, and you get the ball rolling. And the next thing you know, millions of people are talking about the views that ONE insignificant person had ... the views that one person who couldn't make a difference had. And before you know it, things get changed.
I have spoken up to my friend at the store, and I hope he speaks up to his brother back home. And maybe his brother might speak up too, and start the ball rolling. Isn't that a much better way to help these people out than using guns and bombs and military might?
Please, don't be afraid to speak up. Share your mind and your views, whether it's about issues here at home, or abroad. It's free, and painless ... and it just might make a difference.
April 28, 2008