The very search by observers and historians for purity and unmixed motives in a revolution betrays an unrealistic naivete. Revolutions are mighty upheavals made by a mass of people, people who are willing to rupture the settled habits of a lifetime, including especially the habit of obedience to an existing government. They are made by people willing to turn from the narrow pursuits of their daily lives to battle vigorously and even violently together in a general cause. Because a revolution is a sudden upheaval by masses of men, one cannot treat the motives of every participant as identical, nor can one treat a revolution as somehow planned and ordered in advance. On the contrary, one of the major characteristics of a revolution is its dynamism, its rapid and accelerating movement in one of several competing directions. Indeed, the enormous sense of exhilaration (or fear, depending on one’s personal values and place in the social structure) generated by a revolution is precisely due to its unfreezing of the political and social order, its smashing of the old order, of the fixed and relatively stagnant political structure, its transvaluation of values, its replacement of a reigning fixity with a sense of openness and dynamism. Hope, especially among those submerged by the existing system, replaces hopelessness and despair.
Inherent within the soul of a man is a longing to return to its Creator, the Father of us all, and also the propensity to believe and obey the laws that blessed reward is predicated upon. Disobedience and rebellion create a deep split within man's nature, between his body, his mind, and his spirit. This might be termed self alienation and is the root or fundamental cause of relationship breakdowns and most human problems. What many call insecurity is alienation or separation from God, our Father, caused by transgression.
Those who have succumbed to this kind of personal disaster often find that the balance in their lives becomes somewhat tilted and uneven. Many people expend far too much precious energy in protesting the rules. Since they did not make the rules, some feel that they should not be restricted by them. Others make a game of testing the fences to see what they can get away with. Some think that by breaking the rules they somehow become stronger or independent. Those who fight the rules spend much time and energy trying to express independence in their quest to find identity. And having traveled far down this road, they find that this is not the road to freedom but to slavery.
Talents, gifts of expression, and precious time are exhausted in swimming against too many tides. I have no hesitancy in suggesting that young men can learn to express themselves better through excellence in the classroom or on the playing field than in gangs or in immoral behavior. Young women can obtain a better identity and receive better notice through academic excellence and artistic expression than through immodesty of dress.
There are times when each of us has to have some gumption to take a stand as to what we wish to preserve or change in order to maintain our self-respect and not be as “a reed shaken with the wind” (Matt. 11:7). We need to take our great stands in life on moral issues and not kick against insignificant matters, appearing to be eccentric or unbalanced or immature. We lose much credibility and strength, and we risk being weighed on an uneven balance, when, Don Quixote–like, we go around “tilting windmills.”
The spirit that rebels against governmental meddling in the affairs of the people of this nation is one that should be fostered. If the day comes that Mr. Average Citizen meekly submits to government intervention and control of his economic and social affairs then he will be in line to have his rights and freedoms curtailed. We need to develop the desire to keep our freedoms and rights alive. To do this we should know what these rights are both our inalienable or natural rights and our political rights.
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