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Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Power of a Single Man

Sometimes one man with courage is a majority.
Andrew Jackson

Talking with people yesterday on the buses about House Wyldstar and the Social Policy Center blog, I was asked if I really think my efforts will make a difference.

In truth, I do not know. My late aunt once told me that the true purpose of a warrior is not victory or conquest, but to struggle against adversity so that the people might survive. It is the struggle that is important. If man never attempts to prove himself worthy and to preserve the rights, liberties and freedom for himself and others, he condemns himself and those around him to mediocrity and slavery.

Until recently, I have lived a life of mediocrity as a common wage slave, travelling through time without a cause, a career, or discernible direction. But no longer.

Over the years I have experienced many things; mental illness, disability, imprisonment, homelessness, poverty, discrimination - they have all become a part of me, an epiphany if you will ... and given me an unexpected direction to my life. I can no longer sit by the sidelines and watch as our society slowly crumbles. I can no longer turn a blind eye to those I once thought beneath my attentions. I can no longer remain silent as our nation forgets the price of true liberty.

Will I make a difference? Perhaps, if I can educate people about the issues and needs of our society, get them to see and talk about what can be done to address them, and (if I am lucky) to inspire them to action. Some say this makes me a politician. Personally, I hate that title because of the social ineptitude associated with it today. I would rather think that it makes me a teacher. Perhaps one of the most important kind of teachers; one that gets his students to honestly and intelligently think for themselves.

Please understand, I do not pretend to be an expert on anything. I am an ordinary citizen. But I try to open my mind to see how each issue is linked to the others and how these interrelated issues affect each other. You can blame my world history teacher in high school, Mrs. Rowland, for that. She taught me to never look at an event or situation as isolated, but to look around it at the environment and the previous events that led up to the event or situation. By doing so, one gains more insight into the event or situation and can more readily see or design a response to it.

Can a single man make a difference?

With courage and an open mind, eager to find solutions to our problems, I believe he can.

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