The world as we know it cannot stand without them. Not for long anyway. By now everyone knows about Edward Snowden and his stepping forward to denounce the US government violation of the American citizens’ liberties, shall we say human rights perhaps, or that is still to come… He has been called both a hero and a traitor.
I stuck with hero from the beginning, not an ounce of doubt that he wasn’t, and he is the kind that doesn’t come around very often. His deep-rooted motivation, the very foundation he built his decision on, was, he explained in an interview, the fact that he could not live with knowing about it and not acting in a way he believed responsible. He exposed hypocrisy, he said.
There are rumours of him being extradited and trialed by the US judicial system, there are rumours of him searching for political asylum in Iceland, and then there are rumours of him getting in a lot of very very deep trouble. No one knows at this point, so while signing a petition to back him up is important, we also have to keep an eye on what will happen to him regardless.
But I have to use this opportunity to ask: How many things are you aware of that are not ethical, good for people, or are downright harmful and how many are you ready to denounce? What’s at risk if you do? Will you risk it?
Edward Snowden stepped forward to blow the whistle on something he considers unacceptable and hypocritical and though some many argue that his act could be interpreted as betraying his own country, there is a high number of people who think the opposite and for a reason. It is not betrayal, but the highest form of the patriotism when you stand by your country and its values, that ones that are stated for all to hear, rather then the questionable acts that happen behind closed doors.
Denouncing wrongness, and not anonymously, is an act of great courage. Denouncing any kind of wrongness and standing up for what’s right and ethical, not for money but because we feel that otherwise we could not live with ourselves is what all people should do. Is what children should learn from their parents and educators and all the influential people they come in contact with. I’d say it is possible when there are no conflicting interests of any kind. Would that only be possible in a perfect world?
The way I see it, as long as there are people who care, the world is perfect.