Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Parable

One of the unique benefits of belonging to Toastmasters is the opportunity to leave with more than you brought in. The inspiration for a particular thought often comes from the most unlikely speaker. In this case the speaker was not the best I have seen. However, the task they faced is one of the most difficult for any speaker.

The speaker had to present a famous speech, and present it as the original speaker had. The speech they chose came from a speaker that had not been recorded. So, interpreting the emotion, phrasing, and proper inflection would be extremely difficult. The speaker did a decent job. However, that is not what caught my imagination. In this particular case it was the message.

The original speaker had used a parable as the center piece of their message. It is a parable that has value today. So, I will interpret that parable as it was presented to my mind. May God have mercy on your soul.

"A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal,“Water, water; we die of thirst!”

The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, “Cast down your bucket where you are.”

A second time the signal, “Water, water; send us water!” ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, “Cast down your bucket where you are.”

And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, “Cast down your bucket where you are.”

The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River."

In our present times it is easy to feel adrift and lost in a sea of confusion, frustration, and anger. Fear is a word that is thrown around like it is candy. We see our leaders in Government making decisions that are certain to doom us to an inevitable destruction. If that sounds dramatic...good...that is what I intended.

There has been and will certainly be times in American History in which our country will need all of its Patriots to respond. This time is in no way different. But how do we do respond..what should we do?

We feel that the only way to take control is through large media outlets..or large gatherings. This causes confusion, frustration, anger, and most sinister of all Fear to grip our hearts. At no time should we act from the point of emotion. It is not only counter-productive, but exactly what "They" want us to do.

History teaches us some lessons about how to deal with large sometimes insurmountable tasks. Lets look at one issue that makes us feel small. The Main Stream Media. How do you defeat this large ugly monster?

Lets face it, they have the bucks, the faces, and control of what goes out to the masses. So, who else faced this challenge? The answer to this problem comes from a freaky dude in Russia. V.I. Lenin faced this very challenge. How could he possibly get his message to every corner of such a huge country? How could he fight the strength of the Czar?

"Cast down your bucket where you are!"

There was no way Lenin could possibly get his message into the hearts of the Russian people all on his own. Instead he built he built a network of people that went to each town, hamlet, and settlement throughout the empire. He got neighbor talking to neighbor. Who are you going to trust, a talking head, or your neighbor?

"Cast down your bucket where you are!"

Tea Parties are a great idea...good place to get information..get pumped up. But when you return home it does no good to talk to the world about it. Get up off your ass and walk next door. Talk to your neighbors, talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to strangers, talk to your town. Do it often. Do it intelligently. Get others to do the same.

"Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are!"

You can slay the mass media with a single presentation. The mystery of the man behind the curtain, the facade of the slight of hand tricks can all be exposed by you! One person at a time. The exponential growth of truth can overwhelm the slick presentation of a trained spin clown in mere moments just by talking to someone. Don't fight them...just tell them...and move on. Be Clear. Be Persistent. Be Truthful.

"Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are!"

Note: The phrase "Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are" comes from Booker T. Washington in his 1895 Atlanta Compromise speech. Long before Rev. King, Mr Washington understood the vast and alienated workforce that the south was ignoring. Had the south heeded his advice there is no telling where this nation would be today. His parable holds the key to our growing success.

References: "Atlanta Compromise" Booker T. Washington


cgoodsthings said...

Wow! . . . That is a wonderful post.

I used to live in Portland (Oregon) and had a lot of friends who were moderate/moderate-liberal and mainly all talked to each other. They would tell each other how horrible things were (this was when George W. Bush was president and they all obsessed about every little thing he did or didn't do) and I finally told one exceptionally good friend from that group that standing around preaching to the choir accomplished nothing except wasted time and energy on their part and made them sound like obsessed fanatics to anyone (such as myself) who didn't already agree with them.

I also told my friend that one of the things that is really important to me is gun ownership and 2nd Amendment rights. So whenever I met someone who was unfamiliar, afraid, and unfriendly toward guns, I would sit down with them and ask them why they felt that way. Then I would present my arguments for and experience with gun ownership and other gun owners, and would invite them to come shooting with me sometime (stressing that I am a responsible shooter and so we would have a in-depth discussion of safe gun handling practice and the importance of such prior to any actual visits to the range).

I won't say I set the world on fire, but I did have a couple people tell me they had never considered some of the arguments I presented and they were glad they had talked to me. And I had at least two others tell me they really enjoyed shooting and were looking into getting handguns of their own.

My moderate-liberal friend started looking really thoughtful when I told her that by actually talking to people with opposing viewpoints, rather than preaching to them, I felt I did a lot more good than by sitting around with other gun enthusiasts and all of us telling each other how ignorant people on the other side were.

(I didn't point out to my friend that by having this discussion with her, I was not only explaining why preaching to the converted does little, but I was also convincing her that I had my own valid reasons for believing what I believed and may the next time she talked to someone with similar conservative-libertarian viewpoints it would be worth listening to what they had to say.)

But after a time I got tired of the endless political melodrama that is polite conversation in much of Portland (and in the case of many people, a taste for melodrama looking for the thin veneer of respectability afforded by the "seriousness" of politics) and quit talking about politics at all.

So thank you for the excellent post and also thank you for reminding me that I need to get out there and talk to more people myself.

Capt Black Eagle said...

Thanks. Gun ownership is one of the cornerstones of our liberty.