The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Decisions which changed History.

Have you ever made a major decision which influenced the rest of your life? Career choice.. educational institution, life partner.. all of these are big, but they primarily effect ourselves and our small circle of family and friends. But what about a decision you can make which will have HUGE impact on a nation or the world? Here are some... from long ago and more recent.

Boston Bombings.  2 young Muslims, decided to 'fight a jihad' against America,... we know what happened there.

Martin Luther King Jr.. decided to pursue a Civil Rights activism Agenda. His mind set is found in his Dream speech as follows:  "And was we walk along.. we must make a pledge to always march ahead, there is no turning back"....

King's decision had a vast influence on the whole of America and most likely the world. His speech is still inspiring to this day.

Austrian Union Organizer 1920s (un-named) decided to order a new worker to join his union.. here is the report: 
I had sought work so that I shouldn't starve and at the same time so as to be able to make further headway with my studies, though this headway might be slow. Possibly I should not have bothered to be interested in my companions were it not that on the third or fourth day an event occurred which forced me to take a definite stand. I was ordered to join the trade union.  (Hitler, MeinKampf) 

I think we can be confident that this Union organizer had absolutely no idea of how his decision to bully the 'new worker' into his Union would effect world history or the attitude of the one he bullied towards Union orgenisers later. The impact is shown below.

Adolph Hitler.    When contemplating whether to join the 'German Workers Party' that consisted of the massive number of '6' men, his mental processes are outlined below.
-Self doubt...
It was, however, infinitely difficult to decide on putting the intention into practice. What were the qualifications which I could bring to the accomplishment of such a task?

-Final Decision: After two days of careful brooding and reflection I became convinced that I must take the contemplated step.It was the most fateful decision of my life. No retreat was possible

As a result of that decision, WWII came to be and the total human damage was 78 million people dead.

Napoloen Boneparte
His first decision which I am unable at this point to cite from a documentary source, was his desire to bring 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity' to all other European states at the point of a musket and canon. That decision is the backdrop for the one single and seemingly small decision below.

Just prior to the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon  "delayed giving battle until noon on 18 June to allow the ground to dry."

Once the fighting started (against Lord Wellington)  that decision manifestly effected the outcome as we see from:

Wellington's (anglo)army withstood repeated attacks by the French, until, in the evening, the Prussians arrived in force and broke through Napoleon's right flank

The Kingdom of Israel (Northern Kingdom.. 10 tribes)

Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser’s vassal and had paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So[a] king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison. The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. (II Kings 17)

To this day, those 10 tribes are nothing but a few random strands of DNA scattered about the Middle East in various  remnants  that tradition suggests they were once Jews. Hoshea made a bad decision (in the light of the geo political reality he faced).. and now the nation is.....no more.

DISCUSSION.  Right now, the American and Australian governments must decide how to fund various programs and in America the situation is dire.. while Australia is just 'difficult'.  The decisions made by the Administration in America will boil down to this:

"Do we keep spending to stay popular and in power, with the eventual result of the demise of the Nation,  or, do we make responsible spending cuts as well as revenue raising decisions that take no thought for the private vested interests which have thus far delfected such decisions?"

Just like for Napoleon, a delay can mean disaster.  Greed or power based decisions will end in grisley  doom and to use a Biblical manner of speech "and great was the destruction" or.. "in no small way was the nation destroyed"

One ... decision, and the world can change.

"YOU" could make such a decision right now!.... I've made one.. but because of my age and responsibilities, I don't know how far it will go.  I also don't know 'where' it will go.  One of my preparations is to memorize 'great speeches'... and I am now at the 80% point in MLKjr's "I have a Dream" that I practice each morning around 5.00am while walking about 3 km in the dark. In time, I plan to offer a '60s night' at which I will deliver that speech as part of the proceedings. I plan also to inform people of certain critical points and people who had a good and a bad influence on our social condition around that period.  Where will that lead? I don't know.  I am considering delivering the Dream speech as a build up to something more relevant to our own current socio political situation in Australia.  I may or may not use our "speakers corner" as a place to test the delivery and response from random public passers by.  The next speech I am intending to memorize is Gen MacArthur's "Address to West Point" which is stunning.. another will be Roosavelts' "Nothing to fear but fear itself" speech.

Remember this, the world was changed for good by MLK and his spoken word.. it was changed for the worse by Adolph Hitler, but again..it was the spoken word that effected the change.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3)

Comment:   In context, James (brother of Jesus) was writing about the wrong use of the tongue in Church life, but he illustrates in doing so the power of the tongue in general.  How wonderful it would be, to set a "Forest fire" in the American political status quo, that burns up the greedy, the lazy, the dubious, the double tongued, the 'this way today/that way tomorrow' crowd, by shaming them out of the place.  It would be possible to raise support and momentum for serious change using nothing more than the tongue, the spoken word.  If you doubt that the spoken word by a capable orator cannot have such power.. consider the incident were the Roman Lawyer Cicero defended an absolutely guilty man (his friend) to Caesar who had in his hand documents proving the guilt of Cicero's friend. By the time Cicero had finished speaking... Caesar (Himself a great orator who knew the tricks Cicero might use) was reduced to a shaking compliant wreck...so powerful were Cicero's words.
Life did not end well for Cicero, as his sharp tongue and incisive wit, was too much for a well connected and powerful Claudius and later Anthony.. and poor Cicero elected to give himself up to his enemies and he was executed. The intensity of the hatred for his skill with words is seen in the fact that Anthonies wife ordered his tongue to be removed from his deceased head, and she poked it with sharp pins for personal satisfaction. Yes.. life is tough and rough.  MLK himself was assasinated just days after another speech.  But when truth, Liberty and righteousness are at stake.. we can learn from Patrick Henry.. "As for me... give me liberty or give me death".

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