“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass, 1857
Do we have any say in what happens in our nation? Can we write our own ending? Or are we nothing more than actors in a play whose ending has already been determined?
I, for one, believe that as long as there is a spark of freedom left, there is hope. As the poet Charles Bukowski writes, “a spark can set a whole forest on fire.” While it may be understandable that many Americans feel overwhelmed, powerless and discouraged in the face of the left’s attempt to destroy our Republic, that is no excuse for standing silently on the sidelines.
Freedom is not free—there is always a price to be paid and a sacrifice to be made. If any movement is to be truly successful, it must be manned by individuals who seek a greater good and do not waver from their purposes. It will take boldness, courage and great sacrifice. Rarely will fame, power and riches be found at the end of this particular road. Those who travel it inevitably find the way marked by hardship, persecution and strife.
There is no better time to act than the present. Fear, apathy and escapism will not carry the day. It is within our power to make a difference and seek corrective measures. Yet it is not merely that we should make a difference. Rather, we are compelled—required, if you will—to attempt in a nonviolent way to make a difference. We must be willing, if need be, to stand and fight.
The old African proverb “even an ant can harm an elephant” speaks to the power of the people to stand against even the mightiest of opponents. The thick-skinned elephant is impervious to most insects and can trample countless ant colonies with its massive form. Yet a single ant will drive an elephant mad if it crawls into the elephant’s trunk. If a tiny ant can create such chaos by targeting this vulnerability, imagine what an army of ants—or a nation of dissenters—could achieve. The key to making a difference is in understanding that the first step begins with you. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “We need to be the change we wish to see in the world.”
Before you can stand and fight, you must understand what you’re fighting for and what you will be going up against for without knowledge very little can be accomplished. Thus, you must know your rights. Take time to read the Constitution, something very few Americans have ever done. Study and understand history because the tales of those who seek power and those who resist them, as you will see, is an age-old story.
In going up against a more powerful adversary, it is critical that you understand your strengths and weaknesses and tap into your resources. Remember the analogy of the elephant and the ant: you can overcome the behemoth with enough cunning, skill and organization. Play to your strengths and assets. Join with like-minded individuals to develop both the methods and ways to attack the elephant. Prioritize your issues and battles. Don’t limit yourself to protests and paper petitions. Think outside the box. Time is short, and resources are limited, so use your resources in the way they count the most.
Be bold and imaginative, for this is guerilla warfare; not to be fought with tanks and guns but through creative methods of dissent and resistance. Creatively responding to circumstances will often be one of your few resources if you are to be an effective agent of change. Every creative effort, no matter how small, is significant.
You come from a long, historic line of individuals who have put their beliefs and lives on the line to keep freedom alive. What’s more, recognize that you don’t have to go it alone. Engage those around you in discussions about issues of importance. Challenge them to be part of a national dialogue. One person at a city planning meeting with a protest sign is an irritant – Three individuals at the same meeting with the same sign are a movement. You will find that those in power fear and respect numbers.
Although our rights are increasingly coming under attack, we still have certain freedoms. We can still fight back. We have the right to dissent, to protest and even to vigorously criticize or oppose the government and its laws. The Constitution guarantees us these rights.
A citizen armed with knowledge of the Bill of Rights and the fortitude to stand and fight can be that single ant that overcomes the elephant. But it will mean speaking out when others are silent.
“Stand up to hypocrisy. If you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don’t, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth. If you don’t, then there is no truth to your existence. If you don’t stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason why there is so much wrong in the world.” Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun
Source: Citizen’s Toolbox: What You Can Do to Save America, The Rutherford Institute