When the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was face-to-face with his executioner, he said to the man about to kill him, “Shoot, coward. You are only going to kill a man.”
Moments later, Guevara was dead.
Revolutionaries come from all different backgrounds and hold ideologies ranging from anarchy to totalitarianism. Some are violent, and others are peaceful.
Whatever you say about an individual, the ideas of the revolutionaries push society forward. They are the wheels that move our civilizations into new ages. They shape our hearts, our dreams and our nightmares.
Revolutionaries make society stronger, even when they’re wrong. They challenge beliefs and force society to reflect on its values.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died this week, was the advocate for ideologies that many members of our society – including myself – find reprehensible. For example, he argued against affirmative action, gay marriage and Roe v. Wade.
Scalia was committed to staying true to the founding fathers’ original meaning of the constitution, often arguing unpopular viewpoints and facing harsh criticism for his stances.
Nevertheless, he kept fighting.
He was brave in the face of scorn and unwavering in his beliefs. In this way, he was no different from other revolutionaries. I firmly believe that many of Scalia’s stances were counterproductive for America. But he had one very admiral trait – his courage.
There is something we can learn from every individual. While the history books will ultimately decide how he is remembered, Scalia’s death is a reminder to be strong in the face of aversion and to always take a stand for what you believe in. If we all had Scalia’s courage, we could change the world.