The Arena: Are worthy battles forever lost

By John Clise

(Editor’s note: I wrote this March 6, 2013. I think part of it is still valid. It’s an opinion I had at the time. My perspective may have changed a bit over the past seven years. It’s a constant struggle for people who want things to be better. I think that may have been what I was trying to reflect here. As I read over it and reevaluate my current position, I will update my viewpoint accordingly.)  

Images of the underdog taking on the establishment, whether it’s Rocky as the undersized heavyweight, or the mysterious cowboy from High Plains Drifter, bring an adrenaline rush to most folks at least for a few minutes before they settle back into their everyday life of their head in the sand existence.
  There really is no rage left in the world to fight for what’s right and what’s needed. Many people who lived through the civil rights era are tired and broken hearted no one took up the cause. Truthfully, what do we have left to fight for in this life? Isn’t that what people think these days.
  Our government is paralyzed through either indifference or political polarization that can’t be broken. We have been submerged into a culture of entitlement. Everybody owes somebody something, right.
  What causes are there to take up that have a meaningful presence in the world. Who has the power, energy, determination, and fortitude to steer the ship to where it needs to go.
  Truth be told we don’t have many heroes left anymore either. Most heroes rise up and fall away. They either run out of steam, give into the filthy lucre of the enemy or allow personal afflictions to destroy them.
  Society has gotten into a mindset that if you stand up for what you believe in you’ll get mowed down like summer grass. Unless, of course, you are in a group. Safety in numbers, right. Sometimes. The group always needs a leader. Most leaders peddle the Cult of Personality as a way to hand on to power. They use it as a way to promote their own agenda. They use it to justify why they ask their followers to do things that doesn’t seem quite right to outsiders.
  You can cover a cow patty with rose petals and daisies. Still at the heart of the matter you’ll have cow manure. There’s no way to disguise that mess.
  People don’t ask enough questions. They eagerly just go along with the flow because they are either too afraid to stand up for themselves or just don’t care because the issue at hand doesn’t effect their life or anyone in it. They are simply happy to just walk away unharmed.
  We hand out the title of hero like we hand out candy at Halloween. We don’t ask questions like “What did you to be a hero?” We just jump on the bandwagon and declare people heroes who likely aren’t. But it makes us all feel good, right. It doesn’t involve any work at all. We get a real emotional boost before we fall back into out head in the sand life.
  People don’t want to see the ugly side of life. They don’t want to know bad things happen to good people, children, the elderly, the righteous. People don’t want to know good things happen for bad people. Whether it’s getting out of a trouble for a crime or getting away with a crime. People want to wear blinders in life and not look up at the real world.
 Few people are willing to get bloodied over their beliefs. Fewer people are willing to take the beating of their life or worse to be able to stand up to have their voice heard. We’ve become complacent. We honestly believe it is our inherent right to be free and to “do as we please.” There are no actual freedoms that can’t be taken or lost through quiet attrition or ignorance of the masses. That’s the Cult of Personality again. You believe the leaders when they tell things will be be “better this way” or “trust us on this one, you’ll see” and “don’t worry, we’ll protect you.”
  The truth is most people aren’t willing to step into the battle of right and wrong as a middleweight against a heavyweight.
  Just the thought of the battering you’ll take, takes your breath away. You can feel your ribs breaking under the onslaught of your combatant. He has a corner full of help. You have none. You’ll be left to heal your won wounds. You’ll be forced to walk out of the ring alone as people jeer and mock you for taking such a great competitor on knowing you would lose. That’s the Cult of Personality talking to you.
  Scars are just reminders of the enemies who tried to harm or kill us but failed. Victories aren’t always battle that are won.
  Society isn’t always right. Sometimes it is just plain wrong. Somebody has to stand up, even terrified to take up the cause, and declare the injustice and lead the charge, even if alone, to sound the alarm to the wrong.
  You may not see the successful conclusion of the battle. You may see it. You will be remembered as the one who was not afraid to commence the battle against injustice even when the goal at hand seemed unattainable.
   What you really have to decide is whether you are willing to take up the cause in any capacity or keep your head stuck in the sand and not care about the world around you because you can’t be bothered by things that don’t effect you.
   What happens when something does? What do you do then… 


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