Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 451, January 13, 2008

"Words have power."

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by Andrew G. Eggleston Sr.

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Words have power. Today WE THE PEOPLE have more words to use to describe, alarm, enrich and destroy than ever before in the history of the English language. Today WE THE PEOPLE are bombarded with words like terrorism, patriotism, criminal, truth, justice and rights, WE THE PEOPLE are confounded by the deluge of these words and struck dumb at times by the sheer power of them all.

Words have power. Words can be used to twist the truth, bend the rights of the individual and remove justice from our lives. This power is dangerous and painful to many of us who see it abused, a power that is craved by many and wielded by few.

Words have power. A wise man born over two thousand years ago spoke loud enough to be heard above all others, he used powerful words such as love, trust, help, friend, and God. Those words have even more power than words like terrorism, criminal, sedition and kill, more power because the substance behind those words originates in the better angels of our nature.

Words have power. Yet some of us empower the words of pain and destruction, to give them even more perceived power than those of love and friendship. Why? Because we will watch suffering, and pain, and forget our own problems for a while.

Words have power. Words have begun wars, ended wars, started revolutions, ended Presidencies, ruined reputations, started families, built self-esteem, comforted the sick and injured, and given individuals the confidence to be heard.

Three words began a great document... WE THE PEOPLE. Strong words, powerful words, words that include each and every last one of us in these United States regardless of who we are, who our father was, or who we work for. Words that combine in a fragment of a sentence to describe you, me, him, her, them, and us, despite the many ways in which we the individuals of this country wish to separate ourselves from each other with designations like policeman, citizen, black man, white man, Jew or gentile, these three POWERFUL words combine to include each and every last one of us as a whole unit, together, one.

These three words begin what is known as the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.

WE THE PEOPLE... in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

WE THE PEOPLE, have these responsibilities, these jobs, we are born to them, hundreds of thousands of people each year ask for these responsibilities, and are freely granted them.

WE THE PEOPLE... form a more perfect Union.

WE THE PEOPLE... establish Justice.

WE THE PEOPLE... insure domestic Tranquility.

WE THE PEOPLE... provide for the common defense.

WE THE PEOPLE... promote the general Welfare.

WE THE PEOPLE... secure the Blessings of Liberty.

WE THE PEOPLE... ordain and establish this Constitution.

Not "they the people", not those folks over there, not the elected in Washington D.C. or in state houses around the nation, not A judge on a bench somewhere, not my neighbor, not any of these individuals or combinations of individuals but WE THE PEOPLE do these things. Each and every one of us by action does each of these things in the preamble to the Constitution each and every day.

Words have power. Today, and for many years now, the most powerful word that seems to never be used in America, but is exercised by WE THE PEOPLE as some kind of right is—inaction. Our Government encourages inaction without ever mentioning it, and policemen, firemen, lawyers and city officials encourage us not to do anything—don't disrupt the status quo.

Don't rock the boat.

Don't worry about those gunshots.

Don't worry about the problems on your block.

Don't worry about those people whose house is on fire.

Don't worry about the sounds of your neighbor beating his wife.

Don't worry about the accident where three people were killed, "There's nothing to see here!" and the mess should be cleared-up before the evening commute.

Don't worry about that little bit of plastic or newspaper kicking around at your feet, someone will be by to clean it up. I'm sorry, did I mention that that wasn't newspaper you were kicking, but actually a One hundred dollar bill. NOW you're paying attention aren't you? That wasn't just any bit of plastic, it was a photograph of your family, and hundreds have stepped on it! NOW you're paying attention aren't you?

You see; words do have power, don't they? Inaction is a very powerful word, maybe more powerful than love, because inaction is the lack of love, a lack of love for yourself, your family, your home, your city, your county, your state and the nation. Inaction is a lack of responsibility for all these same things, something that has been promoted to death by ambulance-chasers, politicians, and so on, you are told by the TV in many ways, not to act, and your government rewards inaction. It's time to get out of that comfort zone in front of the boob tube, off the couch, out of the house, or whatever it takes, but get up and take action. Stop sitting there like a good dog like you've been told. Start rocking the boat; stir up the status quo, start actions that will have a positive effect, and when you do... remember that you do it as WE THE PEOPLE! You act with the responsibility to those around you for those actions you take.

ACT! Form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and those that will live here after us. I'm not saying "do all of them tomorrow" but maybe you could try to do just one? Pick one and see if with a kind word, a little bit of effort or some donation of time or money you can do something for WE THE POPLE, and be proud of your action when people ask "did you do that?" Maybe if WE THE PEOPLE do that, then the next generation won't be overwhelmed with the mess they have to clean up like we are. Never leave anything to be cleaned-up by someone else, because all you have to do is ask any mother for verification, if you don't clean it up... nobody else is going to.

Andrew G. Eggleston Sr. is a freelance writer, this and all previous articles may be reprinted freely as long as proper credit is given to the writer.


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