When I was 12 years old, I was a fair haired boy with lots of patience and a deep seated love for life. I had no anger issues with my parents. My school was a very rough one and in every school, it seems, there are young men with attitude who subconsciously seem to have issues with fair haired patient boys who love life. Johnny K was one of those.
Johnny was a likeable guy but the push-up champion of the school was just plain cocky. If I remember correctly, he could do 150 push-ups without getting tired. Whenever I walked the halls of the school, he would give me a little shove or a dirty look. This went on for months. He never actually picked a fight with me – he just had this attitude that said: “I don’t like you and I wish you would disappear from the face of the earth”.
It was a beautiful spring morning with clear blue skies and crocuses pushing up through the earth, energized by the warmth of the sun. I was feeling good and, as I walked down the hallway during the morning recess, the push-up champion gave me a little shove with his shoulder. At that moment, for some cosmic reason I will never be sure of, I just knew – the time had come for action. I pulled my arm back quickly, clenched my fist and smacked him on the forehead with four hard knuckles – with as much energy as I could muster. It felt very, very good. The very instant I connected, my whole world changed and – so did his.
Johnny always sat at the back of the classroom. After recess was over, I remember, the teacher asking him how he got the large black and blue welt in the center of his forehead. His reply was: “I was running and crashed into the door”. He never bothered me again. In fact, he always tried to make friends with me.
30 years later at a class reunion, I commented to him that I always remembered he was the push-up champion of the school. (I never mentioned the incident we had in the hall). He returned with: “I always remember you being a pretty tough guy in school”. I never thought of myself as a “tough guy” but I guess when you no longer live in fear, some people think that is “tough”. Maybe it is.
Now what does this have to do with the situation in Egypt? To me, it is very simple. It has a lot to do with Egypt – and the people of this world.
Democracy is the buzz word of America. My opinions on the current state of the world will be left for another article but for now I will say: the citizens of this world do not have a yearning to live in a democracy. What they really long for is freedom from oppression. They want to walk down the hallways of their life without being harassed and forced to live in fear. In short, they want a peaceful existence.
In any society, leaders are necessary. Every society requires smart people who can make decisions that affect the mass of the population. Most people understand this. The democratic system of leader selection was created as a means to, supposedly, release people from the despotic decisions of kings, queens, dictators and other forms of highly concentrated power. The key word is despotic.
Leaders who have the welfare of the people as a priority are not despotic, they are benevolent. Benevolence creates a feeling of freedom in the hearts of their people. Despotism creates a feeling of fear within the people. Fear is the ultimate tool of oppression.
It was time for history to be made. Finally, the fear dissipated and the people of Egypt realized, with the help of social internet media, the time had come for action. When the fear is gone, in the face of massive action . . .the bully falls, quickly and inevitably. The implications of this are massive.
More to come . . .