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Would You Kindly
Thinking about the past fills me with shame and fear. Looking back, I feel like a fool for following him. A fool I was, however, one can still not deny how captivating his words were. Anyone can read a transcript of what this man said and immediately call him a madman, but if one was to hear an audio recording, he’d be called a genius. In reality, there isn’t much difference between a genius and a madman except in connotation. The words of a madman would never be able to capture the hearts, minds, and souls of his audience unless he was genius as well.
It was a normal day, walking through the streets of London with my wife in kids. Normal being used lightly. There was a crowd of people gathered around the gallows. Normally, the gallows weren’t used, but there were two people standing on top. One of them was getting ready to be hanged. Funny, because I hadn’t heard anything about a hanging recently when there’s normally a huge uproar days before a hanging even happens. There were a few police officers around, so I decided to approach one. He seemed oddly mesmerized by what the executioner was saying. I tapped him on the shoulder, and he replied with a barely audible “whaa?”
“Excuse me, officer, but I thought the gallows weren’t going to be used anymore?”
“Well, that’s what the plan was, and we didn’t have anything on our schedule to hang someone, but I mean…”
“Then what’s going on here?”
“Well, I don’t know, but the executioner said everything would be fine.”
“The executioner? Who is he?”
“He must be some kind of official, just listen to the way he talks.”
“You have to be kidding? You have no idea who this is, do you?”
“Sometimes it is necessary for a citizen to take matters into his or her own hands!” Shouted the executioner. “If you see an injustice, don’t rely on your government to fix it. Our government holds injustice within itself. How can one injustice cure another?”
The police officer stopped paying attention to me, but I didn’t mind because I became as fixated on what was being said as the officer.
“Hold up your sword and defend your family”
I thought of my own kids and how I wanted to protect them from injustice in the world. Everything this man said seemed to click in my mind. Even today, his words sometimes still ring in my ears even though now I know the true intent behind those words.
It only took three days for people to start marching in the streets. They yelled the same phrases shouted by the man and held up picket signs. Sometimes officers would try to stop them, sometimes officers would join the protest. It goes without saying that the officers who rebelled were dealt with. I saw one officer beaten so badly it was hard to tell what his face had looked like before. Sounds awful, yes, but no one noticed because everyone was so swept up in this madness. I don’t even remember exactly what we are protesting. Something ridiculous, like taxes or the economy. I remember how we would burst into the houses of “government officials” and drag them out and beat them. We would do the same to their families. Looking back, I don’t even know if these people were government officials or not. All the names and addresses were supplied by the same man. Who did we really attack? Why did we attack them?
All I know is the evil of oppression.