It is November 11, 1918, we stand across from the enemy lines. In a few hours, the armistice will take effect and the war will come to an end. Years of bitter hate will have been written off on paper. Years of violence that more than decimated a generation will be written off. This is violence done en masse by the most respected men in societies — those who commanded vast armies and massive national resources. This violence was done as they used the power of their positions remorselessly, seemingly without conscience — except they knew how to speak the right words in polite company that made it appear as if they had a conscience.
As we stand across that front line, your dearest, still-living friend charges across, unwilling to go back to a life in which the lies of the past are not part of daily life.
In the morning mist, an enemy sentry, who didn’t want to do what he was about to do hours before the war was to end, let off a shot, which missed your dearest, still-living friend, but several of fourteen other shots that followed from the enemy lines did not miss.
He died there in no man’s land, a First World War casualty, on the morning of November 11, the day many countries call “Armistice Day,” the day Americans now call Veterans Day.
He died, on the last day of the old order. He died, one unwilling to accept the reality that the old narrative had been revealed as nonsense. It would be just a matter of time before the toxic, old narrative would be entirely seen as a shameful period of history by virtually all involved.
And what will his mother be told?
What sense can be made of dying in the last hours of a war?
Yes, he will forever be a veteran. Yes, he will receive a military funeral with honors. Yes, he will be remembered warmly for the good things about him, but could he not see that the times had changed? Could he not see that this was over? Could he not see that there was now a renewed understanding of what was just and true? Could he not see that renewal was almost as infectious as the lie that preceded it? Could he not see that the old narrative paraded around falsely as truth had collapsed?
He could not. For he only knew one thing for years: that he must kill the enemy, the enemy that a great media machine and a great war apparatus and virtually all of the many levers and institutions of society had helped focus him on. These were the most trusted in society. The most trusted in every field. The most vouched for and the most respected, the most credentialed and the most impressive in their presentation. They all lied to him. And he would not question their lie. He accepted it as truth and acted accordingly.
And what will his mother be told?
For months, she had been looking forward to his safe return. She was her only remaining son. Rumor of a truce had been circulating. A truce had then been declared. The war had ended on paper. What possible reason could there be to still charge the enemy lines? What possible reason could there be to do something foolhardy and to die?
And what will his mother be told?
Lies are easiest in such moments.
So that is what most do.
During the Ides of March 2020, a great evil spread across the land, a series of decisions that collectively created this corona communism. That was the great evil of the Ides of March 2020, and a great evil that we continue to allow in our lives. Many saw those decisions for the vile behaviors that they were. Most did not. Most applauded. Most supported. Most acceded to the most awful demands.
These are demands that one cannot even imagine a past generation agreeing to.
Yet here we were. A demoralized society that had some time ago lost its way, finally proved it had few values left. It did this by not standing on any values once deeply held by so many in that society, but by instead doing something so very different — dispensing with the sham that they honored those values. They did this by simply being presented with the right reason.
People of preferences behave in such a way. People of principle do not.
If you are one of principle, there is nothing spoken to you that can move you from that principle.
If you are one of preference, you are merely waiting for the right reason.
And these are the times that try men’s souls.
The right reasons are all around you in times such as these. A war of attrition has been brought against you. You are exhausted in many ways by that war. You wonder sometimes if there is anything left in you. You wonder sometimes if you can go on. Stay focussed on those values. Stay focussed on the victories large and small of the past. Encourage yourself in such moments. Read your memoirs of victories that you keep for times such as these. And if you have none, the act of starting such a record in a moment of desperation will likely be enough to pull you out as you prayerfully seek out memories of the tough times that did not break you but that made you into who you are.
And sometimes, in such moments, some men fail.
A man contacted me this summer. His friend, long a vaccine safety advocate, suddenly wanted the shot. He had grown confused between narrative and truth. And I reached out at his friend’s request. I shared with him my experience about the narrative and the many ways it was crumbling and had crumbled. That he must only wait a little longer as we endure the transition and what follows will be better. That he did.
Just a month ago, where he lived, the government officials finally caught up with the fact that the old narrative had crumbled and committed that to paper.
A mother contacted me recently to let me know she would be vaccinating her three-year-old. This was not under mandate, but by choice. It looks like the vaccine is not only not safe and effective, but by many measures, like face masks, it makes you more susceptible to the type of respiratory illness that it purports to protect from. Beyond that, it causes additional risk of harm to the recipient. It is not neutral, but is harmful.
Drawing a line at the lie of the face mask protects from having to have to contend with the lie of the shot. No one is perfect, but moments in which we are confronted with lies are opportunities to rise to the occasion and grow.
The narrative has collapsed. There are those around us who have not succumbed to the narrative who are good people and need our love and encouragement to stay the course, to do the right thing a little longer, to see this time of transition as simply that: a time to transition, to put the old narrative behind us, and to move toward a renewed respect for truth.
History is full of such moments: man moves far away from truth, truth brings man painfully in line with reality.
Life’s successes are partially determined by our ability to recognize such moments for what they are and to adapt quickly.
Around you are brave warriors who have been conned and worn down. Some of them might be able to benefit from your encouragement that a new day is ahead and though the transition may be challenging, what follows will be better, for we will have been snapped back into reality, snapped back into a closer understanding of the truth.
Leadership describes the ability for you to act in a way worthy of emulation by those around you. This moment needs that of you. This moment requires your encouragement of others in that which edifies them.
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