I come before you as a Captain, but one who has learned from the ways of the past. I address you now to speak both of myself and of the belief that I hold for the future. We are humans, creatures of free thought and free speech. We gather in groups, connecting with those who are like-minded. We form these bonds because it is impossible for us to live alone, but even then, we think and act as freely for that is the gift of our being.
Yet even such gifts can be abused at times. Often we do not realise that the weight that our tongue may be enough to sink another in grief. Each word that we speak must be chosen carefully, for the power of the speaker compounds the weight of his speech. Some, carrying their first spark of greatness, might take this too far and abuse their strength. I was one of those individual, if you had known me in my early days. I spoke carelessly, without concern for any other and I viewed this as my given right. Indeed, I was shown to be very wrong.
I then learned to choose my words carefully, maintaining a calm and polite demeanour at all times. I became mechanical in a sense, logical, but still bearing several parts that mark me as human. This was a wonderful step forward for me, but it was pride that was my undoing. Having believed that I had conquered control, I slipped back into old ways without even being aware. It mixed itself and disguised its form underneath the skin of ‘justice’ and ‘hope’, but such are the faults of being human. It was a failure on my part, and it is one that I will not allow myself to repeat.
In this matter, I am clear and I do pledge to the crew of the Black Fedoras that such a thing would occur again. Yet, I must also clarify several key thoughts on the matter.
I have asked myself, in moments of quiet and isolation, if indeed I would have taken the same course of action. As I have said in private to many, my answer remains a solid yes. I would still have chosen to teach a lesson that could be taught to another. I would still react to something that I see as being ill-fitting with the societal norms of mutual respect and mutual kindness. However, I would make certain that should I choose to teach a lesson in future, I would do so in the manner befitting a man of example.
I would choose my words carefully; I would shy away from those that could be misconstrued as overt aggression and I would give my debilitators no excuse to find neither fuel nor fire in the ideals that I preach. A vast majority of what I do, I always view as a benefit to the larger mass. To act for the greater good, this is what I believe in as a leader. I stand by my judgement that my actions will lead to better outcomes, yet it is the means by which this is reached that continues to stand in question.
Some may not feel comfortable with a heavy handed approach. To them, I apologise. Yet, if the rod is spared then the child will be spoiled and indeed that helps no one. Would you have me remain a passive bystander, possessing the power of change yet doing nothing to change an unsightly scenario? That is not a man that I believe you would ask to lead you. That is a man that is only worried about his own image and when the time comes he will be equally unlikely to save any others, concerned only with saving himself.
I would rather be looked down upon by some, those who believe in a sugar-coated fantasy, than to know that my lack of action will lead to no improvement in the world. I was raised by its harshness, taught lessons by its tough nature and through all of this I have been forged.
I will say again, that given the same circumstances, I would always take the same course of action. I would not deviate from this path, but I would tread it carefully. I would watch the weight of the words that I speak and choose carefully those that represent what I am trying to teach. I would not give in the demon of anger and I would stay my tongue as I would stay any blade that I point at my enemies. This I vow, because my words themselves have continued to reach a point where they are no less sharp. Yet I must remind you that I would definitely act. Even if I would be damned by such an action, I know I would have to act. My beliefs compel me, but I hope to commit no foul in the inception of that act.
This I swear to you, as Chenbeard the Pirate. I am the terror of the seven seas, the bane of the unscrupulous. I am the untrained poet, the writer who carries no plaque; but before all, I am but a man. It is for that reason that I am thankful, each and every day. I am thankful for those who would judge me as I have judged others, for in no other circumstances may we know the measure of the man.
Now then, unless any of you would like t’ know th’ prospect better, I say I’ve had enough o’ all this tongue waggin’ and talkin’ as a gentlemen. We’re be th’ Black Fedoras and it’s time t’ make us some coin. Hyar har!
- Chen Yuan Wen, 29th July 2013