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Sweet surrender

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Of all the fundamental rights and freedoms that we enjoy, I treasure most the protection of freedom of conscience and the protection of freedom of expression.

To me they are the oxygen that keep the heart and lungs of our democratic way of life working. {{more}}

In developed democracies

In developed western democracies these rights and freedoms are exercised and jealously guarded by an alert and free media, an articulate and informed citizenry, NGOs and other like institutions. Do we have any of these in the third and fourth worlds?

Watershed

We are now at the watershed. Will the revolution in education, the widespread presence of the Internet, increased travel and the general thirst for information usher in a new era of enlightenment? If it does, this enlightenment can only lead to the full awakening of conscience and expression reinforcing and strengthening the democratic process.

The media

The media are the eyes and ears of the general public. They act on behalf of the general public for whom they are trustees. The media, therefore, occupy a crucial position in the preservation and enhancement of our democracy. Abdication of their role will lead to the possible death knell of our freedoms.

The new order

Make no mistake about it, the new order will demand constructive ideas and action. In order for renewal, however, we must reflect on societal diseases, which threaten our freedoms. The long list ranges far and wide and no doubt includes among others our self-righteous arrogance wrapped up in rampant selfishness and underpinned by runaway greed. By way of justification we call these constructive development while being fully aware that nothing is more destructive of self and the true spirit of community. Therein lies the irony.

Anvil

Despite it all will we continue to be an anvil rather than a hammer; consumers rather than producers; know everything but yet do nothing; see everything but yet remain blind?

Without the spiritual energy, the power of commitment to sustain hard work and the quest for excellence in all fields of endeavour, it will be a case of sweet surrender to the life we already know and apparently cherish. If so, we are all in the same boat consigned and destined to a life of helplessness and hopelessness.

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