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The strength we need to win is in the truth of the values we uphold.

During the last 150 years or so two general forces have been at work. One is the drive to security, comfort and safety, a sort of pleasure pain understanding of life. We all have this but this wave stops when it meets challenges, such as the need to sacrifice for what is right. I think it would be generally conceded that this group is the bulk of humankind. The other force is smaller and it is lit by a few bright stars. One of them just went out. Mandela was known. But such stars are all over at every level of every nation and community of the world. These are people who lead. Not because they stand at the head of a platoon or brigade or army. But because they know deep inside that there is right and they believe that right has to do with values like tolerance and democracy and helping those who are vulnerable. These leaders are not in it for money or fame or prestige. They are just as prone to personal missteps as all others. But they are led by the light that is real progress. Progress that widens the gate for all who feel the same prompting - to move the world forward. The first group develops its own leaders and they are adept at calling the leaders in the second group kooks, Communists, utopians and so forth. 

That division of the world ends to the extent that more and more eyes open to the truth. The truth is that we progress slowly but also that the values of the second group are worth supporting because the rewards of lassitude and comfort alone are fleeting and ultimately pointless as ends in themselves. We are at an epochal tipping point. Already leaders who embraced the right have been martyred. The forces of power and privilege turn a blind eye to the reality folk like Mandela embraced. But cynicism and blindness are nothing more than a reluctance to reach past the shell of one's own comfort zone.  This century is the tipping century. More and more are waking up. Nonviolent democratic revolution is in progress. In one one place and another. Right now eyes are on Ukraine. Anyone can be a leader, merely by knowing the right values and standing up for them when others hang back. The strength we need to win is in the truth of the values we uphold.

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The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…