May 15, 2003

"Be not afraid": what a worthless admonishment! It has never been a question of what one is afraid to pay. Of course anyone who chooses to take an action to uphold what they value, eyes open, will be afraid! Fear is a natural consequence of knowledge. To say one is not afraid is simply to say that one has not yet faced or understood the price –- and creates an unnecessarily vulnerability of determined ignorance, shattered. But –- it is a matter of what one finds of value. Our actions speak louder than our words. One does what one must do. Regardless of what we say we value, what we hesitate to risk anything at all for has precisely that same degree of value: be the thing freedom, or peace, or ego. As the level of value escalates, the personal price required cannot but achieve levels that make sane people blanch.

It is easier far to find reasons why others should make the payment on one's behalf –- why power should be taken rather than faith given. Yet if we are not willing to pay personally, what on earth makes us think another should pay on our behalf for us to retain the thing? If we are not willing to pay personally, what on earth makes us think the thing will have any value at all –- for us? Others, then, may find a high value therein – but for those unwilling to pay personally, the thing becomes worse than meaningless. Gratitude –- resentment –- guilt –- makes a heavy cloak. Easiest of all is to find reasons and arguments allowing us to avoid the question –- which itself makes an answer: laissez faire, let it alone, submission of the individual to the collective inevitability.

For the choices are here and now. While I dare not ever suggest to others how each individual person should assign their individual values, there is an inertia to things which have been set in motion. To step aside, to do nothing, to find reasons to do nothing, becomes de facto agreement with (and thus tacit support for) the direction of that inertia. As with all things that rushing inertia can be resisted, or stopped, or turned aside: but that will require determination to make – not find reasons to avoid – those choices. And there will certainly be a personal price to pay, and it can only become greater, the longer the inertia has been allowed to gather.

How much are one's personal values worth?

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