Sitting in the snow

Anatoly Sharansky set free in 1986


Maetenloch at AoS points to an insightful reminder from William Jacobson that the solution to tyranny is not “go along, let it collapse on its own, let it burn”:

As Sharansky was being led to the airplane that would take him from the Soviet Union to East Germany for the exchange, the Soviets confiscated his book of psalms. It would have been easy for Sharansky simply to keep walking towards the plane and freedom. But Sharansky understood that the Soviets confiscated his book of psalms not because they wanted the book, but because they wanted to show that even in this last moment, they were in control.

In front of reporters covering his departure, Sharansky sat in the snow refusing to move unless the Soviets gave him back his book of psalms. Here was this diminutive man, after 10 years in prison, on the verge of freedom, refusing to budge unless one of the world’s two superpowers gave him back his book. And give him back his book of psalms they did.

Do any of us still have the stones to just refuse? Refuse to go along with a travesty? Will we sit in the snow with freedom beckoning 100 yards away?