Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Once Upon A Time

This is not new. I wrote it a few years ago, but it seems an appropriate time to dust it off.

Once upon a time, there was a people who were imbued with a magical idea. They dreamed of no longer being in bondage to another, of becoming their own masters. They dreamed of freedom.
These people did not have all the answers - they were not perfect - but they had an idea, and ideas can be powerful tools. Ideas can give rise to actions, and actions shape the world. The actions of these people did more than just shape a world. They created a new one.
Their dream was so bright that they fought and killed and died for its cause. They threw aside all normal precautions and laughed in the face of fate, not just to secure their own freedom, but to secure the freedom of all who would come after. They believed and, in believing, they reached out and formed a new reality.
They knew that only in freedom is there real security, real peace and real success, not just for a fortunate few, but for more people than had ever been imagined. Their dream was planted in corpses and watered in blood, but its fruit was the sweetest that had ever been tasted. For a change, people could dream, and they could even think of reaching their dreams.
Once upon a time, there was a people who dreamed of freedom. But time carried on and, as happens all too often, the dreamers awoke to a world that was not of their dream. They cried in vain as they discovered that their heirs had forfeited all that had been gained through blood and sweat and tears. They wailed in frustration as they saw that the chains they had fought so hard to remove had been locked back in place, not by force of arms but through voluntary complicity. The new people who should have been free had made themselves slaves out of laziness and cowardice, ignorance and greed.
In the world that is now, people are more afraid of those above them, rather than less. In the world that is now, there are rulers with more arms and more power than the dreamers ever knew in their own time. In the world that is now, these rulers grow fat with the plundered wealth of their people while still hungering for more. In the world that is now, those who are sworn to protect are seen as the enemy, and far too often this perception is true. In the world that is now, no one is safe and even the innocent must fear the justice of the land.
Once upon a time, there were people who believed, and they thought their belief was strong enough. For them, perhaps, it was. It did not carry down through time, though, and the world changed. The new people still mouth the words, but they no longer understand the meanings. They run for shelter at every perceived threat and never fathom their own responsibilities. They feel faint whispers of the echo of a dream, but they don’t really comprehend what it is they have lost. Only a pitiful few feel the primal hunger for freedom. Only a lonely, small band remember the dream.
If only this were just a fairy tale, but that is not the case. Once upon a time, we were free, but now has killed the dream. Is there no one left who believes?

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