Monday, October 15, 2007
Speaking Truth to Power
Christ before Pilate . . .
Peter at the Day of the Pentacost . . .
Paul before Agrippa . . .
Martin Luther before the Catholic Church . . .
Galileo before the Inquisition . . .
Joseph Smith in chains at Liberty Jail . . .
Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial . . .
President Reagan in the shadow of the Berlin Wall . . .
The Tank Man's silent protest in Tiananmen Square . . .
These iconic moments are seared into my conscience by the profound courage their protagonists displayed. I get goosebumps just watching these clips or reading the accounts.
These heroes could have been merely ordinary, but a combination of determination and destiny brought them before the heights of power, where, armed only with the courage of their convictions and with their own lives in jeopardy, they spoke the truth. They unmasked evil, denounced injustice, eviscerated ignorance and exposed deceit. They stood, they delivered, and they changed the world.
Entrenched power creates and perpetuates leadership opportunities, and this usually is a bad thing. (See Vladamir Putin, Saddam Hussein . . . or Teddy Kennedy :)
But courageous leaders, speaking truth to power, resonate their message deeply within the collective conscience, and expand their influence through the essential clarity, verity, and hopefulness of their vision. They spark revolutions and topple governments, not through force but through ideas.
The power fades, but the truth endures.
Here's to those heroes, past, present and future.
(And once again . . . GO ROCKIES!!!)
Posted by Mark at 4:18 PM