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Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter

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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:24 AM
Original message
Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter
This is something that Martin Luther King said once. I refer to that quote often now, as I delve deeper and deeper into speaking out against this immoral and dishonorable war in Iraq as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and also as a conscientious objector who refused to participate in it.

"Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter."

I refer to this quote when I encounter people who advocate just keeping one's mouth shut and looking out for one's self, even to the point of advocating that even if we disagreed with the Iraq war, that we have to support our government in what they're doing now.

"Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter."

I remember this statement when I feel anger creep over me at the thousands of US service members who were betrayed by our high officials in sending them to a war of choice, rather than one of a last resort. And especially I reference it in regards to those Democratic members of Congress who, while not directly sending them to war, failed to speak out against it at the time. From where I stand, "political pragmatism" is hardly an excuse for failing to take a moral stand against such a grave injustice.

"Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter."

Most of all, I remember these words to inspire me that a better future isn't something that comes about immediately -- the goals we place may not even be achieved within our lifetimes -- but that the important thing is that we never waver in seeing the better world we want to help create, and that we keep the hope alive in making that world a reality.

"Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter."

Martin Luther King not only spoke these words, he lived them. And even though his tireless work toward a better tomorrow resulted in the loss of his own life, he created the ripples in still waters that affected millions of others to carry on his vision of peace with justice and brotherhood into the future. Thank you, Martin.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I voted "Greatest" for this thread...
Very meaningful.

:)
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murray hill farm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thank you for posting that...
a nice way to begin the day! I will save it!
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. Our deaths begin to near
when we speak against the fear. IF we allow only a few vulnerable voices to carry the water.
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RevCheesehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. I needed to hear that.
Thank you for the awakening.

I was watching "The Grapes of Wrath" on TV, and had to turn it off, because I see our nation slowly slipping back to those days. The utter lack of compassion, "survivor" mentality, and complete disrespect for the poor drove me to tears.

I once believed in our nation. People like MLK, John and Bobby Kennedy inspired me to reach higher, to do more, to make a difference (and I was only a kid then).

Where are those leaders today? All I hear is "the government doesn't want to care for people anymore, so get your own damned Social Security. Don't have any money? Nothing to invest? It's your own damned fault that you were born into poverty."

And Halliburton, the pharmaceutical companies, and all the rest gorge on the feast of rotting human corpses. Immoral doesn't even begin to describe it. Amoral may be closer, but we need a better word to call total depravity of soul what it is.

God help us all.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. You know, I think more and more back to FDR these days...
Edited on Fri Feb-25-05 10:19 AM by IrateCitizen
FDR was certainly with his faults. Some of them were quite glaring. But then again, historical greatness tends to amplify both a person's strengths and weaknesses, and FDR was no different in that regard.

However, he was a person who came along as President at a critical moment in history, a time in which America could have just as easily slipped into Fascism. FDR avoided this fate because he dared to appeal to the better nature of people. He gave people hope, rather than pointing the blame at others. He believed that government could be a force for good in people's lives, and set about to make that happen. It is for this reason, and not any particular policy or programs, that I believe the shadow of FDR held sway over the American political scene for such a long time.

Then, along came Ronald Reagan. Reagan preached a mantra couched in boundless optimism, but the truth is he appealed to the worse side of human nature. Greed was suddenly fashionable again, and intervention on behalf of those who needed help was not. Like FDR through the middle of the 20th century, we are still living under the shadow of Reagan. More than anything, we need another person in the spirit of FDR to come along again and tell us that it's OK to care about the downtrodden, and that we live in a society together, a society that will cease to function should we all look out for ourselves as opposed to working together and helping one another.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. I want to go "home" too...
I know this is a typo... But, it is a very telling typo.

"He gave people home, rather than pointing the blame at others."

I long for peace and progress... I long for a home. I'm not
comfortable in the place I find myself.

Alrighty, I'll say it...

"It's OK to care about the downtrodden, and that we live in a society
together, a society that will cease to function should we all look
out for ourselves as opposed to working together and helping one
another."

I agree.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Oops! Maybe that was a freudian slip.
In any event, I'm changed it. But you do raise a good point. More and more, America no longer feels like "home" to me, either.
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RevCheesehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. That's why this election hurt so bad.
I heard the words, and felt the promise of hope. "Hope is on the way" was not a campaign slogan to me - it was a vision of what could be. And I believed....and still believe.

In fact, I believe that most Americans heard and responded, too. That's why I'm convinced this election was stolen.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. Your post is so beautiful.
Whenever I feel as though it's not worth the fight, and what can just one person do, esp. one who's new to the fight and hardly knows where to start, it is so very important to read posts like yours to help keep the flame alive in each of us. Thank you so much for your clear thinking and writing. I agree completely that we need a person with the spirit of FDR to lead us back to caring about each other. Who will it be?
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. you remain one of my fav thinkers here
so well done.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thanks, xchrom. I appreciate it. (nt)
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks for this
sometimes I feel it's futile to speak out about anything anymore. Then other times, I know I have to.

"The things that matter in life are not things"
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
11. We all need to be reminded of this...
...I certainly do.
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
12. Barbara Boxer cited that quote
I think it was just before she started questioning Condi.

Thanks for a great post. It's going to be important to remember this as time goes on, as it seems people who speak up are increasingly villified.
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jenn1977 Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
14. Beautiful. Thank you.
This is something I've been wanting to talk to my parents about. I I'll share your post with them because it's concise yet inspiring. My parents have recently decided to stick their heads in the sand, soon after the election. Especially my dad. He describes himself as an optomist, and although I believe in having an optimistic outlook in general, I know that it must be balanced with a REALISTIC outlook. He's been saying that he just can't stand paying attention to most of what's going on out there, and that he's just going to pay attention to the positive and wait out the 4 more years.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. If you only pay attention, you'll slip into the depths of depression...
The key is not to just pay attention, but to get involved. It has been widely shown that people who get involved in struggles like this often end up feeling better about the world, because the struggle itself gives people HOPE.
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northamericancitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thank you IrateCitizen. To get involved is the answer. n/t
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-26-05 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #15
26. Wow! That IS the answer.....Thank you so much for your first post, and
this one.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
17. Thanks for the beautiful post, and the reminder that we must not give up!
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thank You!
I will keep your post in mind on March 19th when we take to the streets to PROTEST (non-violently)the 2nd anivrsary of the War in Iraq.

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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
19. I began reading this about 5 separate times today and each time
had to stop reading it.

I'm so very resigned for the foreseeable future that I don't know how much more attention I can pay.

That said...you wrote a masterpiece..I thank you for summoning me to stay awake...I just don't know if I even want to anymore
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. You may be in a depression...
... ??? Take care of yourself. :hi:
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
20. Amen!
"There comes a time when silence is betrayal." is the one that has been carrying me through as we stand in protest of the war at our monthly peace rallies. MLK and Gandhi are true inspirations for the times. Appropriate in this Season of Nonviolence honoring them both. I wish we still had them with us today.

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PitBoss Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. ,
,
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bajamary Donating Member (427 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. Pray for Peace, Work for Justice
Great post. Thank you.

The Quakers, along with other groups, say:

Pray for Peace, Work for Justice





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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-26-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. The Quakers do amazing work for Social Justice and Peace!
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soulfullofwonder Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-26-05 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
25. My Soul
No truer words were ever spoken. I'm currently reading a book titled, " My soul looks back in wonder" , and it details all of the small acts people contributed toward the civil rights movement. All of those sit-ins and boycotts, however small they may have seemed at the time, contributed a great deal to the over-all advancement of the movement as a whole and to a better America.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-26-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Soulfullofwonder,
WELCOME TO DU! We do seem to forget (how easy THAT is!) that all the seemingly small events add up and make a large contribution to a better America. At the time these events happen, though, we are in the middle of the forest and cannot see our way out to the brighter day. These bad days shall pass, and we'll have much happier times. sigh.....Hopefully soon...
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-26-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Welcome soulfullofwonder!
:hi:

It's inspiring to look to heros like those that lead the Civil Rights movement, especially, in these dark times.
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