Thursday, August 1, 2013

Snowden and Kipling

Snowden and Kipling
P. Schultz
August 1, 2013

This is a comment posted in the NY Times on the lead article today on Snowden’s asylum in Russia. 

Stephen J. Johnston
Jacksonville, Fl.

Rudyard Kipling once wrote a famous poem called "IF." When my son and my daughter were young, I gave them each a Birthday Card which had the text of the poem memorialized there. Later, I taped each of their cards to the refrigerator door so that they would be reminded of it every day of their young lives.

The poem was meant as a guide to a boy about those faculties of character which, he must possess in order to become a man. To me it has always been obvious that the social skills, honor, integrity and basic sense of decency which Kipling enshrined in his poem are not just the qualities which a boy must cultivate in order to become a man, but rather they are common to the quest for validation as a great human being which must be undertaken by boys and girls if they are to live up to civilized standards of conduct.

Mr. Snowden has undertaken a manly act of standing apart from his group in order to tell truths which must be told to people who don't wish to hear them. That is they must be told if our people are to retain our liberal, democratic, Republic. He will be vilified by the members of a dysfunctional political duopoly because they stand four square for the American Security State, and their banal myrmidons are expert at studied non observance in the service of vapid complacency.

If: Snowden can "hear the truths he's spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools," without recourse to cynical petulance, he will prove a man in the Kiplingesque sense of "Man."

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