“YOU CARRY THE WEIGHT”
by OPOVV, ©2015
Next the angel took me to yet another cloud and again sat me upon a rock. The angel said unto me, “The direct result of evil is death; and the direct result of indifference is death; but there is no greater sin than to turn your back on evil and indifference, for the result is to be but a standby witness, having squandered the opportunity to save by denying what was before your eyes: remaining helpless and, therefore, worthless.”
And then I was among others like me: millions knowing evil was among us, seeing pictures of our brothers and sisters beheaded, crucified, drowned, burned alive, slow-roasted, cut in half with a hand saw, but remaining passive to evil’s intent. We were seated in a giant coliseum, miles long and wide, thousands of feet high, for surely we were in the clouds.
Down below were our representatives: Buddhists, Jews, Shintos, Catholics, Protestants, and all the other believers in the Golden Rule. There were swine and goats, all hoofed animals, and every variety of dog. There were millions of books piled high: the Torah, Bible, Harvard Classics, Golden Books, World Books, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and copies of every novel ever written in every language. Another mountain of musical instruments: drums, horns, pianos, woodwinds, harps, accordions and sheet music. There was a mountain of speakers, radios, short-wave sets, televisions, telescopes, and satellites. A long line of women who were educated, who learned to read: doctors, professors, nurses, teachers, pilots, chemists, writers, publishers, singers, models, actresses, and Chief Executive Officers.
Atop the highest mountain was our Constitution, and staked next to it was the American flag, drooping from its pole.
At one end of the coliseum was a Muslim who was slowly turning a wheel on a pipe that went deep, and the more the wheel was turned the more black-vile liquid spewed forth, spraying everything with a fine mist of oil.
All was quiet. There were no braying of the burrows, no barking of the dogs, no wailing from the people. The only sound was the gushing of the oil from the bowels of the earth.
I sat there, as all the millions of others surrounding me, transfixed at the spectacle before us. And we watched as an angel flew around the coliseum, from row to row, person to person, stopping and staring at the soul of each. And when the angel came unto me, he offered me a book of matches and said, “You’re as guilty as any of the others, perhaps more so, because you saw the past and can extrapolate the future. You light the fire that will extinguish any chance for the human race to reach for the stars. You carry the weight, for it is you who are the witness.”
And then I awoke, glad to be off the cloud, and yet I cried because I saw our future when millions of people like me do nothing.