How many of us are aware that Poland - after more than a hundred years of enslavement, after the partitions that had placed the lives of the Polish society, undergoing russification and germanization, under the thumb of foreign countries - had managed to regain its independence and freedom 95 years ago?
The 11th of November commemorates the moment when Poland regained its place on the map of Europe; it reminds Poles of the price that had to be paid in order for us to become masters of our own home, to be governed by rules that are ours and to guarantee the development of the Polish state according to those legal and social freedoms that make us conscious of our national identity.
The Partitions as well as any other types of occupation - such as the times of World War II or even the years of Poland's enslavement by the Communist system imposed upon the country - constituted an attempt to rob the Polish people of their identity and to blend them into a modern internationalism system that served no other purpose than to use Poland in the fight with a mythical enemy - that enemy being Western capitalism.
We've managed to free ourselves from all of those decades-long dangers thanks to the wisdom of the Polish people who - by risking their lives - have erected a dam against the system of enslavement in the 70s and 80s. During the initial stages of this fight, probably no one saw any chance of overcoming, reforming and especially toppling Communism. And yet it happened. It wasn't easy. In 1970, blood was spilled in Gdansk. Dozens of people sacrificed their lives to change this system of enslavement into a humane one. It was not a pointless sacrifice. Society was becoming increasingly aware of the harm and the need to restore basic justice.
During the times of PRL, we often pondered whether we would live to see the day when we are thought of as people that are worth respecting exactly because of the fact that we were human. Not because we belong to some luminous party. Well, it seems that inner opposition and the conviction that one day this contempt for man must end - had been boiling over in everyone.
History teaches - though not everyone believe in it - that earthly powers are not toppled with weapons. They fall apart on their own as they have no spirit, no element that would justify their existence in the ultimate, eschatological dimension. How is an empire to last eternally if it does not recognize the primacy of spirit over matter? And if it is only earthly, material, then it is attracted to the ash from which it was born.
May God will it that we never forget about 1989, the year that saw a nation's liberation from the proverbial 'Egyptian enslavement'. This liberation was a victory of the spirit, of the idea of freedom and independence, over the peasant's and worker's plain toil for, supposedly, his country that, instead of giving him what he has earned, instead took his hard-earned coin for the benefit of the international proletariat and the fight for soviet, socialist freedom in the world.
It just so happens that Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first Prime Minister of the free Polish government, passed away a few days ago and we led him to the Laski Cemetery near Warsaw. Tadeusz Mazowiecki is one of the first that knew how to render a service to Poland.
Having endured decades of enslavement, many thought that no one would be able to take control of the country, purge it of all misdeed, lay a solid foundation for a new, free and independent Polish Republic, built on truth and justice. We lacked people with political experience, since none of the oppositionists had the opportunity to prepare themselves for actually governing the country.
It turned out that He was prepared. Why, where did He gain such wisdom? The answer to that is actually simple. If one knew that one was living in a system of enslavement and hoped to one day break free of it, then one had to have a vision of a different world, a different system of governing. And so one would stante pede, immediately, without delay be ready to govern a country in such difficult conditions of the transformation that appeared after 1989.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki bet on simplicity and truth. This stake always wins. And he won! Simplicity is undoubtedly a key that opens everyone to the fellow man's voice. We always want to be in association with authentic people whose word means certainty, while risk is minimized by bearing witness to truth. Risk - because a lie can save someone, even justify a person before those that don't know the truth or want to sell it to him in return for renouncing those values that are close to one's heart.
Simplicity is naturalness. Appointing someone for the position of Prime Minister doesn't change his humanity, but gives the chosen one the chance to bestow one's best upon many. Apparently, he had a lot to share since what he did for Poland turned out to be permanent.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki's funeral should be an example of unity among all political parties. Hopefully, they will be guided by truth above all. Truth is the congruity of what we say with reality. Are we already living in a world where a politician speaking truth is avis rarissima - a rare bird? Why? Because politicians dislike truth, but like everything that strengthens them politically, even it is a bald-faced lie.
Author: Bp. Tadeusz Pieronek / pr-controlled.com ©
Photos: Judyta Papp