I remember a particular World War II film our class watched in high school, as if it were yesterday. It showed footage of a vendor just outside a Nazi concentration camp with a glass box displaying human tattoo swatches. There were jovial ladies viewing the skinned tattoo art, like they were jewelry shopping in a boutique. They wore immaculate clothing and seemed like the nicest folks you could meet. This was both stunning and horrifying. It was difficult to imagine how they could ignore the human suffering and smoke spewing from the camp in the background. The class was appeased with an assurance that this could never happen again. Still there was a burning yearning to understand what all the good people were doing while Germany transformed.

Certainly there were those who detested the crimes against humanity, but most were silenced into submission for fear of being blacklisted, scorned, or killed. Discent can be deadly in an environment where there is no tolerance for freely voiced opposition. This dangerous state of affairs does not happen overnight. It is a slow wave of escalating fears that are captured and harnessed by power brokers, and then repurposed with propaganda logic – void of branches. Some have named this the totalitarian tiptoe. This creates a state and system that is beyond reproach. Terrible things can happen when questioning one’s own self and society is no longer possible.

Respecting those who challenge the norm is most crucial for freedom. The recent backlash against Colin Kaepernick for sitting during the national anthem is concerning whether or not you agree with his methods. Taking a stand by sitting down and not participating in peaceful protest is a time proven method to instigate change. History shows us that those who have done this in the past are treated brutally, but are ultimately redeemed as defenders of freedom once time unfolds. Rosa Parks’ historic act of simply sitting at the front of a bus in defiance of racial injustice is a good example. At the time the majority criticized her acts as criminal.

 We are all a valuable part of a larger whole. Although only a small minority feel they actually have the power to steer the machine.  Some are switch operators, some can make tweaks, some can simply stall it, but we all have the ability to affect our course. Sometimes the best way to take a stand is to sit down and hold back one’s support. Now more than ever the courage to speak out should be cherished and not criticized.

It takes a consensus to move in any direction. Since most everyone wants love and peace for their family – we will have it once selfish interests no longer control the agenda. Collectively we all steer the human experience on earth. There is a common thread of goodness that is strong in people of all political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Our ongoing dome project is woven of this fine thread of humanity. We are driven by the inability to sit idle and watch the program. We prefer to actively create something new and different.

 


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