Pen vs. Sword

“In many cases it is the weak that fall by the side of the road. This is the natural order of things. If one cannot survive then he must die. You must not fall. You must prevail.

“War. It invades. It destroys. Death, dark, dank death, rules all. The creative conscripted, the devoted drafted and the enterprising enlisted. War kills. In every culture it is the same. And yet, I trust you all not to fall prey to these evils.” A reedy man of advanced age strode across the room, intent on sharing his message. “War is coming and we must not give in. We are the future. You must continue on.” With that he silently picked up his briefcase and left the room, pausing not even a second to gauge the reaction of his rapt audience.

Slowly, the listeners began to stir, emerging from the trance that the man’s impassioned speech had placed them in. A whisper floated through the room, no one claiming ownership of it. “I don’t want to die. I don’t want my art to die.”

The poignancy of the remark touched each and every person in the room, regardless of age, race, or artistic affiliation. For a moment, it appeared that someone would respond but before anything could happen, the room lapsed into silence again.

Suddenly, the youngest member of the assembled group, a child of only eight years, stood, her young voice piercing straight through to the souls of her listeners. “We might die, but it will be worth it. We must protect that which is important. We must not lose ourselves in the fight that follows. Our art will never die. We will protect it with our lives. We are the future. We must continue on.” With that, she too left the room, belatedly following the man. After her came the middle-aged singer and then the elderly artist and then the young poet and then more followed and even more, ‘till the room was empty with only echoing thoughts indicating the presence of so many active minds in one place.

The group marched. They marched forward towards the fight, each arming themselves with their chosen weapon, one with a baton, another with an oboe, the next with a pen. Like war, they invaded. They brought ideas, innovation, invention. Their invasion was one that was welcomed. It was celebrated and through invasion, they brought peace, stability, and calm to a war-torn area. Through their invasion, they picked up those who had fallen by the side of the road, denying nature the right to the fallen’s lives.

Through inspiration, they defeated greed. Their invasion harmed none and elevated all, a sentiment that all should emulate. Let one’s presence help, not harm. Be not that which destroys but that which creates.

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