It was 237 years ago that Thomas Paine published the now famous words “These are the times that try men’s souls.” I wonder if he foresaw that there would be other times in the future that would challenge us in the same way. Over and over again, our moral compasses have been impugned as well as our willingness to defend and protect the values to which we each, individually, subscribe.
The challenge that we now face as a nation is to defend our constitution against “enemies, foreign and domestic.” That may seem to be a daunting task for the individual but just as the Continental Congress called upon the people to become “citizen soldiers,” we must call upon our fellow citizens to do the same today because we are no less threatened now then we were in 1776.
What is a citizen soldier in 2013? We are today’s “3%” and our responsibility to the generations that will follow us is to educate the sheep and overcome the apathy that is rampant in our society. The arms that we take up are our words. The shots that we fire are the meaning of our constitution.
So often, we belong to groups and have friends who subscribe to the same beliefs that we hold. We preach to the choir. We discuss, we rant, we beat our chests in frustration and indignation when what we should be doing is sleeping with the enemy as a friend of mine so aptly put it. We need to broaden our individual circles to include those who don’t see any threat to our way of life. We need to be willing to be the people with a purpose because we can no longer afford to be silent. Instead of talking about assaults on our constitution with the guys after a trip to the range, go to a coffee shop and talk to the waitress or the person sitting next to you. When you go to the post office, talk about it to the postmaster. When you’re waiting in line at the market, talk about it to the person behind you. Use your words to spread knowledge and inspire the herd, not just to complain to your brethren.
Yes, there are those who will choose to dismiss you and view you as just another nut with a cause, but there are others who’s interest will be stirred. They will actually hear what you say and think about your message. Those are the ones who will talk to their circle of friends and neighbors and the process will continue. Our job is to overcome their apathy and replace it with understanding of what is at stake. It is only then that the 3% will have a chance of growing into 5%, then 10%, then 50%.
You hold the power within you to do this and it is your responsibility as an American citizen to act. Don’t allow your voice to be silenced.