Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Don't Be Afraid to Let Your True Colors Show...

Dedication to Edward Snowden:

How do we know that we are doing the right thing?  Do we possess the skills to ask ourselves the right questions to ensure that we are moving in a heart-centered direction or adhering to the dictates of a system outside of ourselves?

Carl Jung once said:
"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.  Who looks outside, dreams.  Who looks inside, awakens."

When we begin to know ourselves, what we believe in, what we sing for and dance for, life take on a whole new precious quality.  We begin to understand the value of not only our own life, but all human life and then all life.  When a young man makes an enormous sacrifice in the name of freedom for everyone, how can we not pay attention?  When he follows his own conscience at great risk to himself, is it not important to find out why?    

In Laura Poitras' film, Glenn Greenwald interviews Edward Snowden.  Near the end of the short clip, he is asked what his greatest fear is right now given that he feels he cannot go home nor that many countries will want to protect him.  Edward Snowden's answer was this:

"The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all of these disclosures, they’ll know the lengths that the government is going to grant themselves powers unilaterally to create greater control over American society and global society, but they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary and to stand up and fight to change things to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests. And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse until eventually there will be a time where policies will change because the only thing that restricts the activities of this surveillance thing are policy. Even our agreements with other sovereign governments: We consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather than a stipulation of law and because of that, a new leader will be elected, they’ll flip the switch, say that because of crisis, because of the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power and there will be nothing people can do at that point to oppose it. It’ll be turnkey tyranny."

These words completely rattle me.  I read about this kind of intrusion of privacy in George Orwell's "1984" , many years ago.  It is a frightening idea. But what concerns me more is the question of what the global reaction will be to this young man's courageous action.  Where will Edward Snowden find a safe haven after sacrificing everything for this idea of what he believes to be right?  It is an important moment in our history. 

We have the opportunity to open up our scope of imagination and reach for a better world which will treat all people with dignity and respect.  Edward Snowden's actions open up a much larger conversation about the relationships between citizens and their governments.    Martin Luther King in his 1964 "Big House" speech anticipated that one day the world would begin to see itself as a family which has inherited a big house and must now find ways to occupy that house in dignity and peace and freedom:

"Our hope for creative living in this world house that we have inherited lies in our ability to re-establish the moral ends of our lives in personal character and social justice.  Without this spiritual reawakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments."  

I believe that Edward Snowden has taken a step toward that vision.  He gives us an opportunity to see it for ourselves.  He gives us the opportunity to ask what we would do if we were in his shoes?  Are we ready?

The song "True Colors" by Tom Kelly, John Kenneth Wetten and Billy Steinberg best reflects how I feel about Edward's Snowden's desire to be true to his heart: 

"...If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show

Your true colors
True colors
True colors
Shining through..."       

Added September 5, 2013

"Those who awaken never rest in one place.
Like Swans, they Rise and leave the lake.
On the air they Rise and Fly an invisible course.
Their food is Knowledge. They live on Emptiness.
They have seen how to break Free.
Who can follow Them?"

  - Buddha


No comments: