Ted’s essays


The questions came to me on a forum I visit:

A. Is there anything you regret doing (or trying to do) for freedom?

B. Is there anything within your realistic power that you regret not doing (or not trying to do) for freedom?

Made me ponder a bit, then respond:

I had some unrelated regrets early on – quite a few, actually. I think I caught on. The regrets were treating someone else or myself dishonorably, or inaction in the face of clear choices. They linger shockingly long and can still be sources of personal disappointment. THAT has been a major life lesson, and motivator.

I do not mean to brag, but these questions make me happy that I do not regret doing or not doing something for liberty. That is not to say I figure I am perfect. I am human, but honorably motivated. THAT makes all the difference to me.

Sure I didn’t beat THEM. But I did not waste my time, and I sure as heck will not be accused by anyone of standing by and idly watching the show. The show, by the way, is not over.

I will not be in the gulag wishing I got off my butt. I will not criticize those who ‘save their strength’ or however they look at it, but I know that the regret of failing to do what I see needing done is more painful to me than failing in the attempt.

I believe I have become better at balance, better at pacing myself, but I know friends of mine continue to encourage me to back off the activism role even while I think I already have.

I just can’t think of a worse fate for me than behind the wire as Solzhenitsyn describes:

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?…

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation….

We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”