Who will stand?
By T. Kepner
Journal Contributing Writer
Jan 7, 2005, 01:26
It is said that if you do not stand for something, then you
will fall for anything. It must be true, because it appears as if most of us
are lying flat on our backs, either unable or unwilling to stand. Is it because
we are too comfortable, lying prone? Have we no energy left to lift ourselves
onto our feet? Or is it that we are afraid that if we stand, we will be knocked
down? Whatever the reason, it�s time to get up. Time to get on your feet. It�s
time to stand. Question is, who will stand?
Who will stand for our fathers, our grandfathers and their
fathers? Have the actions, sacrifices, and contributions of our ancestors all been
in vain? Do their words have no meaning and is their legacy a lie? Are their
ideals, meant to guide and govern, simply pieces of parchment to frame and hang
on school walls? Are the truths no longer self-evident? The Right of the People
to alter and abolish has been picked from our pockets and who among us will
stand to take back that right?
Who will stand and refuse to surrender all that has been
worked for and earned? At what price do we finally say that we cannot afford
more? How many more coins will we feed the war machine so that the rich get
richer and the poor lose all and those in the middle continue their downward
spiral, clinging to the unraveling threads of the 401K? How much more do we
need to lose before we realize that there are no winners in this game that
they�re playing? Who will stand and say �enough!� to those whose pockets have
been lined with gold forged with the sweat of the less fortunate?
Who among you truly believes in God and in the greatest
story ever told? Who among you reads the story and comes away with a completely
different account than what�s being fed to us by those who would persecute,
pillage, and plunder in His name? Who will stand for Him, who gave his life so
that we could have ours? The one who was loving, merciful, generous and kind in
word and in deed? Does �forgive them Father for they know not what they do�
apply to the men who do know what they are doing, know that it�s wrong, but do
it anyway and justify it by any means?
Who will stand for those men in the pictures? Who among you
looked at the pictures without really seeing? Did it not matter at the time
because it wasn�t your father, or your brother, or your son? When it is, will
you cry out in anger and vow revenge on those who would commit such atrocities?
When it is those of your blood who are wasting away in confinement because of
imagined and contrived aggressions, will you stand then and demand justice? And
when it is your turn, will you simply cry, �do it to Julia, not me� (Orwell,
Who will ask how many more must die before we stand and say
no more? How many more sons and daughters do we condemn to death or
dismemberment on the whim of an insane administration that conspires to rule
the world? Who will put an end to the madness that has become policy and the
lies that have become our truths? Who will look into the face of our enemy, to
see only their own reflection, and realize that perhaps the face they�re seeing
isn�t the enemy at all? Who will stand for the remaining few good men who just
wanted the chance to be all that they could be?
Who in the media will stand? Who will once again bring
dignity to the written and spoken words that reach the masses? Who that has
been given the power to project their voices far and wide will stand and tell the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Who will tear up the talking
points and uphold their responsibility to inform? It is their words that can
either inspire or inflame, and the words they choose are not taken lightly.
They need to tell us the truth, even if the truth is not pretty; even if they
don�t think we can handle it. They need to inform us so that we may take an
Who will stand for those without shelter or food or the
means to provide either? Who will share what is theirs with those who no longer
have anything to share? Do you honestly believe that you can never lose what
you have, that the rug can�t be pulled out from under you also? When your luck
runs out, and it very well may some day, would you not hope that someone would
offer his hand to you? Poverty is becoming the norm for way too many of us,
while way too many of us have way too much more than we really need.
Who among you truly believes that you are unaffected,
untouchable, or unaccountable? Will there not be a Judgement Day for each and
every one of us, a time when we�ll have to answer for all that we have done or
not done? Do you believe that perhaps good intentions absolve you from your
responsibilities as a member of a much larger community? Do you realize that
each action creates a ripple that soon grows to become a wave that washes over
us all? Will we be cleansed by that wave, or will we be drowned beneath it?
And finally, who will stand against those who no longer have
a leg to stand on, because they�ve lied, and stolen, and conned, and
manipulated to the point where we have no choice but to make a stand. They very
well may have driven us to what will be our final stand.
If you choose to stand, know that you will not stand alone,
that there will be another at your shoulder. Stand straight and tall, for if
you lean too far to the right, or too far to the left, you may topple us all.
And if it is our true fate to be knocked down, then at least we will all fall
together. All of us, with no man left standing.
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