You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life-Winston Chur
Jesus Christ was crucified because he stood up for the truth. Martin Luther King was assassinated because he stood up for the truth. Mohandas K Gandhi was jailed by the British because he stood up for truth. Nelson Mandela was jailed because he stood up for the truth. These men of history had many enemies who were both envious and fearful of the effects they had on the people around them. The Jews were petrified that one of their own would upset their theological apple cart, but more worryingly than that was the fear that their money making schemes would be exposed as contrary to the principles of god. Jesus continued his thirty two year quest to bring words of compassion, tolerance and wisdom to the people that inhabited Judea, and show them, the real spiritually preparing purpose, of life. On his missions he began to arouse suspicion and jealousy amongst the ruling Jewish classes, who viewed his teachings as inciting anarchy. Jesus was hated because he resolutely stood for truth, which he resolutely refused to abandon and which ultimately led to his crucifixion. MLK fought brutal white oppression in the US in the 1960s and initiated the civil rights movement that helped the commencement of healing the race divisions that had plagued the US since slavery began. Gandhi with a white robe, walking cane and an indomitable spirit brought the British Empire to their knees, leading to their rapid exit from the Indian sub-continent. Gandhi was hated by the British for his oratorical skills, intellect and ability to lead millions of people on a non-violent march of resistance. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-seven years by the white apartheid government of South Africa as a political terrorist. His determination and their inability to break his spirit eventually led to the emancipation of South Africa. Nelson Mandela was widely hated and pilloried in the white run press but his tenacity allowed him to never give in till his terms were met. The above examples of men who have changed the course of history are all on the surface different in detail, but the fundamental conflicts and issues are exactly the same, and are sadly an indictment of human nature. It was during these periods of time that the ruling classes exercised their power abusively in an attempt to extinguish any form of social revolution. The fascinating feature about revolutions is that they require a good guy and a bad guy, because without either the change would simply not occur. In fact one could argue that the most important actor is the bad guy who provides the good guy with the perfect board at which to direct his righteous arrows, and the more vindictive the bad guy gets the bigger that board grows and the more notice people take. Gandhi started his anti-British activities aged 23, when in South Africa as a recently graduated barrister, he refused to carry the identification cards issued by the local authorities and encouraged his Indian colleagues to join him in publically burning the cards. This act of civil disobedience along with many others on his journey landed him in British jails nine times, which only fortified his determination to defeat the British. There is an interesting psychological interplay between the oppressor and the oppressed that changes throughout the course of their interactions. Initially the oppressor assumes he has complete control and generally does not take the threat made by the oppressed with any seriousness. With enough time, this however changes, as it becomes clear that the underdog has no intentions of disappearing, and in fact now possesses a sense of potential victory. The fight for justice can be an addictive one and once the oppressed has gotten a taste of the battle it is almost as if has found his life purpose which he knows, should he succeed, will lead to a lasting legacy. For example, imagine if the British had never colonized India and Gandhi remained in the practice of law. The history books would tell a very different story and one I am sure that would not be anywhere close to the drama that actually unfolded. Every force requires a counter force for it to be realized otherwise it cannot be considered a force. Similarly every injustice catalyzes a revolution which if the injustice had not occurred would have led to an absence of revolution. Some historians argue that the above men were in the right time at the right place and had the ability, foresight and courage to pursue their paths against overwhelming odds attacking enemies with far greater military and economic resources. To have the privilege of engaging with a more powerful enemy comes rarely and in the above cases these brave men embraced the opportunity knowing full well the risks they would encounter. The predictable element of each of these conflicts was that the side on which truth stood eventually won regardless of the material resource imbalance. Their faith and belief in both themselves and their causes were the defining factors that allowed them to transcend their physical beings and no doubt the pain associated with those entities. The stories of all of the above icons are additionally linked by an unbreakable spiritual foundation which allowed them to understand that the time their spirits spend in human form is fleeting, and its only true purpose is to prepare the spirit for the next stage if its journey.