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When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth
and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and
for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.
Think of it--always.
Posted by Laura Orem on June 04, 2009 at 05:41 PM | Permalink
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This gives me the chills. What a horrible moment in history.
June 04, 2009 at 09:33 PM
Fascinating conjunction. Does the picture illustrate or negate Gandhi's contention?
June 04, 2009 at 09:40 PM
I see this picture as a reason to hope, and so a reminder, like Gandhi's quote, not to despair. This incident happened the morning AFTER the soldiers had massacred the students in Tiananmen Square - which makes it even more remarkable to me, since this man, whoever he was (not a demonstrator - notice the shopping bags he carries), knew exactly what the army was capable of and willing to do.
What I see here is the enduring power of the individual against faceless tyranny. Not only by his extraordinary bravery by standing in front of a column of tanks. He reminded the tank driver of his own humanity, that he (the driver) did not have act as a cog in the machine but can make choices, too. And the tank driver chose to act as a human being, not a cog.
Even though the Chinese government won this round, and it was horrible, look at what has happened since. China is still a repressive state, but a little light has been let in. Let in for, perhaps, all the wrong reasons - profit and greed and globalization, but let in nonetheless. And there is no putting the genii back in the bottle, particularly in this hyper-connected world. I had a wonderful student this past semester at Goucher who lives in Beijing - thoughtful, smart, perceptive, determined to see the world as it is, not just the "official" version of reality. She and other young Chinese people like her are emblematic to me of China's future. I see them as the legacy of this extraordinary ordinary man, and so I have hope.
And Gandhi is historically right. Evil regimes, even though they may last for many years, eventually choke on their own evil and die of it.
So when I see this picture and I think about this young man, I am inspired.What endures? The greatness of the human spirit, not the power of tanks.
Laura Orem |
June 05, 2009 at 12:42 AM
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