“I’d rather fight the current”

Not long ago an acquaintance asked why I seemed distrustful of the media and government. She was embarrassed by some of my comments and posts, and thought I was “coming across as a little paranoid.”

Only a little? Clearly I’m not doing enough.

I chuckled sadly and told her, “My parents grew up in Nazi Germany.

“My formative years were filled with warnings and advice about putting too much faith in an entity that promises to fix everything.

My father was adamant about preserving and protecting freedom, especially of those with whom he disagreed. He wrote many letters to the editor insisting upon maintain our freedoms.

My mother watched the news carefully and analyzed every word.

“They were so proud to become citizens of America, and feared it may fall.

It was as if they knew I’d be living at a time when the world forgot how dictators create dissension and discord in order to overthrow a country.

“I’m grateful that they passed away a few years ago and can’t see what’s happening now to our history and freedoms.”

My acquaintance simply shrugged and said, “I don’t really know anything about the World Wars,” and walked away.

I wasn’t surprised. Very few people really want to know anymore. Too many in America seem to revel in ignorance, which is ironic since at no other time in the history of humans has information been so plentiful and easy to access.

Sadly, a section of our population prefers to be told what to believe and what to do, and believe that taking the seemingly easier way will be the better way. Free everything for everybody, and if it’s not given, then just take it. They seem to think the end result will be a country of easiness, equality, and handouts for everyone.

If they knew anything about history, they’d remember that in thousands of years, that result has never, ever occurred. Whoever ultimately achieves the “top seats” immediately pounces on the lower folks who got them there.

We’re being used by going along with every new edict, rule, and illogical mandate forced upon us without vote, without representation. I suspect that COVID-19 has now become a testing ground of sorts to see just how much citizens will put up with for the sake of the “common good.” How many freedoms and privileges will we give up for a virus that has a 98% survivability rate? We’ve been thrown into a massive experiment which has long since lost its initial purpose of flattening curves (they’re flat, very flat) and now has become a test of just how much control we’ll accept.

I’m encouraged by how many people are beginning to grow tired of the experiment, are beginning to question the “wisdom” behind many mandates, and are quietly beginning to take back their freedoms.

Together, we can fight the current and live.

It’s time to be brave and fight the current

“It’s time to be brave.”

My friend messaged me those words yesterday after we had been chatting about Ricky Gervais and his audacity to public tell his “Hollywood friends” what hypocrites they are. I wrote that I wished I were so brave, and she replied with only five words that have been echoing in my head:

“It’s time to be brave.”

I have another friend online who every day stands up for his beliefs in religious and moral issues, and is castigated by dozens, if not hundreds, of people. I’d cower under such scrutiny, but he wrote, “I have to say what I know is true, so that others know they’re not alone.”

“It’s time to be brave.”

In towns, in cities, in states, in countries, lines are being drawn, and we’re no longer able to straddle two worlds and pretend they’re not at odds with each other. We can either drift along helplessly with the current, letting it drag us wherever and act surprised when we find ourselves somewhere we really didn’t want to be.

Or we can fight the current, swimming with those who school like fish alongside of us, refusing to drift to an uncertain end. There’s enough of us willing to stand for our beliefs in God, in morality, in family, in our country, and in each other.

It’s time to be brave. I’ll fight the current.

rather fight the current

“Why fight it?” Mahrree asked her neighbor. “Because what if everything we believe is wrong?”

Mahrree saw her poor neighbor’s eyes glaze over. She knew better than to get into a debate with Mrs. Shin. That was something else everybody ‘knew.’ If Mahrree didn’t break people down by logic, she did so out of sheer persistence. Mrs. Hersh realized too late she’d been dragged into the discussion, and the dread in her eyes demonstrated a frantic desire to escape.

But there was also something else there: a sudden loyalty to her society that demanded no one step out of bounds. “Then we’re wrong together,” Mrs. Hersh decided. “Being united is important,” she said as if realizing she actually believed that. “What everyone thinks together is correct,” she reasoned out loud, “and so if you follow the crowd, you’ll never be wrong.”

Mahrree’s shoulders fell. How can you open someone’s eyes who holds them firmly shut, yet claims she sees just fine?

“It’s like the river,” Mrs. Hersh went on, emboldened by Mahrree’s discouraged silence. “Everything flows downstream. Simply . . . go with that flow. It’s just easier that way.”

Mahrree saw her way back in. “Fish don’t flow downstream.”

“Yes they do.”

“No, they don’t.”

Mrs. Hersh put her hands on her hips. “Why wouldn’t they?”

“Because then there’d be no more fish up here in Edge!” Mahrree pointed out. “I’ve seen them when I’ve taken my students to see the river, and when I’ve dragged my fishing husband home again. Many fish swim in the same spot, fighting the current. A few species even swim upstream, against everything pushing them to the southern ocean.”

Mrs. Hersh pondered for a moment. “That doesn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t they just go with the flow of the river?”

“Because,” Mahrree tried not to sigh at her neighbor’s inanity, “maybe they don’t like where the river is going. Salty water at the end of it likely kills them.”

Mrs. Hersh squinted. “How would they know about the salty water? Besides, so what? At least they had an easy time getting to it. They’re going die eventually, so might as well go easily instead of fighting the current.”

And right then Mahrree realized, to her horror, that the Administrators had won.

People didn’t need to think for themselves, they only needed to think what everyone else thought. They didn’t need to worry about the color of the sky, because everyone agreed it was only blue. They didn’t need to worry if they were drifting to an irreversible tragedy, as long as they were doing it together, united.

Because as long as everyone else was doing it, you should too. Hold hands and jump off the crevice together, never questioning why.

“I’d rather fight the current,” Mahrree said quietly.

Mrs. Hersh shrugged her shoulders. “You’re a lovely neighbor, Mrs. Shin, always willing to lend an egg, but I truly don’t understand you.”

The debate was over.

~Book 2, Soldier at the Door, available here.