Good News Sierra Journal: White Knights, Better Angels, to the Shores of Tripoli | SierraSun.com
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Good News Sierra Journal: White Knights, Better Angels, to the Shores of Tripoli

Randy Allen
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; We should probably update the old Moody Blues song where and#8220;Knights in White Satinand#8221; becomes and#8220;Knights in White Hazmat.and#8221; The Fukushima 180 are the white knights in hazmat suits, who continuously brave dangerous radiation levels in rotating shifts of 50 men in order to limit the nuclear disaster in Japan. Some of them are now seriously injured after what many call suicide missions. They are my heroes for the moment.

The good book speaks about there being and#8220;No greater love than giving up your life for your friends.and#8221; Theyand#8217;ve been willing to do just that, and in the process may well be taking duty and honor to a whole new level. Does heroism trump tragedy even in Japan, where video coverage has been so horrific? Remember the man rescued after floating 10 miles out to sea on a piece of tin? What about the battered dog protecting his near- dead friend and refusing to leave her side? When 100 nations offer to help, and we witness so many heroic rescue scenes, it gives me a little hope our better angels may yet prevail.

and#8220;No looting!and#8221; Thatand#8217;s been the consistent news report from Japan. Am I the only one stunned by that? More particularly, what does that say about America where looting has virtually become a reality TV show. Donand#8217;t we routinely celebrate Super Bowls and Basketball Championships with a little looting and pillaging? Is there a message in all this for American educators and spiritual leaders? What cultural choices have we been making, and is that something we can change for the better, especially now our courts and jails are full? Itand#8217;s always been laughable to me when the experts look at drugs and crime in America as essentially a criminal justice problem, when it is totally cultural, moral, and spiritual in nature, but I digress. Itand#8217;s incredible we donand#8217;t see chaos in the Japanese people when the circumstances are so chaotic. You see hope, indomitable spirit and resilience in the face of catastrophe, not despair.

How about the heroism in Libya, and much of the Middle East? Have the Arab people finally grown sick and tired of the tyranny of filthy rich dictators, and now simply long to breathe free? Itand#8217;s not possible theyand#8217;ve all read Patrick Henry and are now willing to live out his famous line, and#8220;Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!and#8221;

And what about our abrupt decision to intervene and provide mercy to the Libyan rebels, while Khadafy promised them and#8220;No mercy.and#8221; Is this another one of those heroic moments where we want to be those good men and women who refuse to stand by and let evil triumph in the world? Do we really regret Rwanda that much, where the genocide of up to a million people went unchecked while good men did nothing? There is that challenging proverb that rings down to us through the ages, and#8220;Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when itand#8217;s in your power to help them.and#8221;

and#8212; Randy Allen, is a Sierra Sun columnist, worship musician, and former teacher. Heand#8217;s lived in Truckee for 28 years. –


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