Lessons No One Learned

I listened to a voice in my head as it told a story. This voice was from a man who survived the siege but who wished he had acted, much earlier, to warn of what was coming. He failed to do that; and so his final anguished thoughts offered lessons no one learned.

If I had revealed to the world the writing I chose not to share, I might be in prison or an asylum. Or dead. You see, my most intimate thoughts posed a clear and present danger to the shackles that bind us to the mirage that those in power want us to see. Were my words successful in freeing even one person from the powerful manacles of misinformation, the fight for freedom would drown our oppressors in a powerful flood, deeper even than their pockets. So, you see, the winning argument against sharing my words was rooted in self-protection. The nobler choice would have been self-sacrifice in pursuit of the greater good. By opting to assign more value to my own well-being than to that of the society in which I live, I knowingly aligned myself with the oppressors. That, alone, is knowledge with which I cannot live; that, alone, is a horrible condemnation any decent human being would be unable to survive. Now, my voice means nothing. Now, my words are simply impotent syllables stitched together to form gibberish, a cotton-candy quilt in the face of a fire hose.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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