Courage! (films “Amazing Grace” and “Varian’s War”)
by Christine Smith
Friday, January 18, 2008
The second film, Varian’s War, is about American Varian Fry, a man responsible for helping approximately 2,000 Jewish artists escape from France during WWII. Despite the consequences should he be discovered, and despite governmental bureaucratic obstacles (as well as anti-Semitism in America), Fry continued his mission. The film, again a powerful representation of an individual who decided to try and do something, thereby leading others to join with him in the cause of helping others in need.
If such individuals saw what was wrong, why did not the rest? If they stood up to challenge injustice, why did not the rest? Why do so many allow their liberty, and the liberty of others, to be taken away.
Why has our society so often allowed bureaucracy, indifference, apathy, and greed and other unworthy agendas of our “leaders” to result in the suffering of millions here and abroad? Because we have allowed fear to do the choosing between right and wrong.
One individual can make a difference. It is often one individual standing up courageously which inspires many others to join the cause. It is always the message that individual communicates that inspires others…the messenger is the means by which others awaken and see what was before their eyes all along, but which because of fear, they blocked out, were too busy, occupied, under their own stresses in life to carefully examine and become involved in. When fear of loss (be it of one’s reputation/respect/monetary/position or anything else), fear of persecution or condemnation, when fear of consequences/repercussions keeps one from doing what is right – then they become part of that injustice.
But once the human spirit is reached, often through a messenger who has the courage to speak and expose the truth, that one human spirit is joined by others because those others awaken to what they too feel within but were afraid to express…and that one individual becomes many…and the cause becomes a movement…and there is change. Fear is relinquished as others see the individual boldly step forward, and they too, respond to the message that they possessed but never expressed.
When one chooses a path which would result in changing ingrained societal injustices, results may be long in coming…but history has shown us they do come.
Stay on the path, do not waver, stay committed to truth and freedom. As you face obstacles after obstacle, including lies and unfounded attacks, as you experience moments of utter discouragement, as enemies plot against you using unfair tactics, it is then that your spirit, your faith must be strong. Small victories may encourage and apparently large losses may discourage…some battles may be lost…but the rejection of corruption- and its stripping and stealing of human dignity/civil liberties/property and all its assaults on the human spirit- is worthy.
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