The Cost of liberty is less than the price of repression. W.E. Dubois, American Social
Reformer and Political Activist (1868-1963)
The day the war officially started on Iraq, thousands of people gathered at the Texas Capitol to protest the U.S. involvement in the war. That morning, as a government employee working at the Courthouse, I was notified via email of the impending protest. The email urged supervisors to let "non-essential personnel" leave early so that they could avoid the turmoil that the protest was sure to cause on traffic. I, unfortunately, am considered "essential personnel", so there was no early release for me and I was caught up in the pandemonium. I sat behind the wheel of my car, hot, irritated and perturbed at the time it was taking me to make it the four blocks from the courthouse to IH-35, due to the sea of people protesting the wrongfulness of the war.
As anger rose up in me, the only way I could pacify myself was to pause for a moment and ponder the "big picture" of the situation. My inconvenience of sitting in rush-hour traffic a little longer than usual was a small price to pay for freedom of speech for all, even those with conflicting views from my own. I sat and felt a sense of awe that I live in a country where those protesters were allowed to march and voice their opinion without the fear of retribution. My blood pressure slowly came down, and I made myself take back the thoughts I had given voice to moments earlier, when I said out loud, " Dang, why doesn't someone arrest them all and get them out of my way so I can make it through this light." At that moment, I came to the realization that...