To Honor the Students

Written by on June 4, 2007 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 0 Comments

This writing is from an email I wrote in response to a young person’s inquiry from China a year or so after my interview with Radio Free Asia. He said as soon as his small village got a computer, he looked up my website. He and his mother listened to RFA in secret, and they had heard my interview. He wanted to know more about Tiananmen Square. He wanted to know how to honor the students of Tiananmen Square. I was scared for him, as much as I was inspired. ~ Demian

“To My Young Friend,

Your time to speak freely, to fully spread your wings and fly will come. That I truly believe. But for now, you must fly in your heart. And I and others will be here for you to encourage you and be inspired by you as well.

You are especially precious and very important to your people because of your brave spirit, your beautiful passion to learn and to know more than just what others would have you know. But you must be wise and pick your battles carefully.

There were many people who stood up for a dream when you were cradled in your mother’s arms, and paid for it with their lives. To honor them…or their dream…to honor the sacrifice of those giving up their lives for a principle or an ideal, means embracing the ideal first – even and especially if you can’t embrace the people or the cause openly by name.

The students of Tiananmen Square wanted to live in a world where their voices could be heard without punishment, where thoughts could be freely discussed because they believed in the worth of every individual, therefore to honor them you must value yourself.

Whether you know what actually happened or not back then, if you honor your worth as an individual now and hold that vision for all in the future, you honor the students even more than someone who vocalizes their support but carries cynicism in his or her heart.

I support your desire to seek information and to know the truth, because that’s important. But what I’m trying to say is the reality of who you are is even more important than the facts of what has been.

It’s when you become so angry you lose the ability to feel compassion, or so guilt-ridden that you become numb to the sounds of your own heart beating that those who fell in Tiananmen Square are truly dead. While you live with hope, they live with you.

So live. Where they can no longer reach out, embrace. Where their eyes are closed, see. Where their ears are deaf, listen to the sound of truth all around you and within you. Perceive with all your senses the richness of the beauty and the potential for good in all humankind.

Do not be blinded to the ills of our world…but do not be blinded by them either.

Now their mouths are motionless with silence. Let yours move to speak words of kindness and love…for these are the greatest truths, greater than the greatest political speeches.

And where they no longer walk, dance.

In this way you honor those who died. Those who honor them as you do in spirit, whether consciously in their name or not, will find you as you will find them.

And the dream will unfold through your lives and those who follow. Nothing will stop it.”

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, using spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. Demian is a traveler on the healing journey with a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


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