The Defiant One speaks


In a world cowering behind a mighty wall of fear and anger, the Defiant One strode confidently into the arena. The crowd would have cheered, but the authorities had banned crowds.

He strutted pridefully to the center of the vast staging area and looked around at where the thousands of faces would have been.

“You have been told no. I proclaim yes,” the Defiant One said.

“You have been told freedom is slavery. I declare freedom is freedom and slavery is slavery. Two plus two equals four. What you see is what you get.

“War is being waged for your mind, heart and soul. Or rather, war is being waged against your mind, heart and soul. The enemy wants you to be afraid and angry and frustrated and, most of all, the enemy wants you alone.

“But in that solitude is power — the power to isolate yourself from the mass and think for yourself. The mass hears the drone of the enemy’s machine; the solitary soul, away from the drone, can hear the whispers of reality — a reality where ignorance is ignorance, strength is strength, war is war, and peace is peace – above all, peace is peace: Peace is freedom from fear and anger and frustration; peace is time enough to think, listening to the rhythms of calm and confidence and reassurance.

“Come then, follow the melody of your mind, heart and soul, follow the path that restores and does not ruin, the song that soothes and does not disparage, the words and music that build a bridge across troubled waters. Join in peace and friendship; seek understanding, not division. Defy the warlords and their threats clothed in empty promises. Enough cowering; stand in peace, stand for peace, drop the mask of suspicion and stand as individuals united against those who would strike terror in our hearts.”

The arena echoed with the defiant words, for there was no crowd. But the words were heard, and soon it was the warlords who knew fear and anger and frustration, for no one would heed their calls to hate and violence, as the people looked at each other and saw common ground, not a chasm — love, not hate — freedom, not enemies.

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