The Architecture of Life: Courage and Sacrifice in Iran

The Architecture of Life - Christopher K. Travis

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Courage and Sacrifice in Iran

My heart goes out to all the brave people of Iran as they speak truth to power.

They are not just fighting for themselves. Like all people who place their bodies in harm's way for the cause of liberty - they fight for us all.

In this all religious people are united - Moslems, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and all the other myriad faiths of the world. Our spiritual teachers tell us that ultimately man is answerable only to God - not to nations or political systems.

In this, all people who place their faith in humanist ideals and values also unite. Those who will not place their faith in religion still seek civil liberty and free self expression naturally.

The courage and commitment of the Iranian people also holds a lesson for those of us in the West. We can see the unfair stereotypes of America that are promoted by Islamic extremists - but we are often blind to the stereotypes we hold ourselves about other cultures and faiths.

People are people. They long for freedom, self-expression and the opportunity to create a better life.

In the last few days we have seen a culture often demonized by our own politicians for what they really are.

They are human beings. They love their children, their country and their heritage just like us. Like us too, they must face the truth in the old axiom - "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

We in America have had to face down power many times. The liberty we have now was not won in the American Revolution. It has been wrested from the hands of the powerful and unjust time after time throughout our history. It's legacy was expressed in grassroots movements - from the women's movement to the civil rights movement and onward.

It was born in the labor movement, the environmental movement and still today - people must hit the streets to gain civil liberty for those condemned because of their choices in love. Truth be told - there is still much to be done in our country and in all nations on our planet.

All people have the right to civil liberty...but all people must remain vigilant so that their freedoms are not taken from them. Whatever disagreements we may have about other matters - those people in the street in Tehran are our brothers and sisters in their fight for freedom.