Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Relevant Quotes

Quotes that have touched me recently:

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
- Edward Abbey

“The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
-Howard Zinn, misattributed to Thomas Jefferson, who said something else to that effect.

"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."
-Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s

And one poem:

First They Came . . .

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

First They Came… is a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.


Jennifer said...

God, one of my all-time favorite poems. Unfortunately, its sentiments ring all too true today. Will the world ever learn from the past it both glorifies and tries its best to forget? Many people, for fear of shaking up their comfortable little spheres, opt not to speak when they know they are facing corruption and evil. In the US we are blessed to not have to face imprisonment, torture, or death for voicing dissent or a point of view differing from the current cultural norm. We take for granted our rights when we have yet to feel the burn from new policies that have the potential to be used to restrict our opinions and beliefs in the future.

Many Americans feel powerless regarding the role they can play in rerouting the path our country is currently taking. Apathy often grows from that sense powerlessness. It's time to galvanize the masses and encourage them to take an active role in change. It is also important to reach out to those we may not normally reach out to in hopes of collaboration and mutual understanding...

Thanks for posting the quotes Adam.

Anonymous said...

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all - Oliver Wendell Holmes

If we could all just remember what it was like to be 3 years old, we'd remember that making noise and yelling and screaming is MUCH more fun than sitting quietly...I plan on having a lot of fun this year.

Never grow up and never give in.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk