Khalil Gibran wrote the following piece in 1925 and it really sums up quite a lot of things. Politicians, religious leaders, newspaper men all are given a choice. He sums up the choices each has very well.
Khalil Gibran - The New Frontier
The old ideas will vanish because they are weak and exhausted.
There is in the Middle East an awakening that defies slumber. This awakening will conquer because the sun is its leader and the dawn is its army.
When the Spring sings its hymns the dead of the winter rise, shed their shrouds and march forward.
But the other one is silent in his conformity to law and order, calmly awaiting justice; he is a powerful giant who knows his own strength, confident in his existence and a believer in his destiny.
If you are the first, then you are a parasite; if the second, then you are an oasis in a desert.
If you are the first, then you are a criminal whether you live in a palace or a prison. If you are the second, then you are a charitable man whether you are thanked or denounced by people.
Or are you a devout and a pious man who sees in the piety of the individual the foundation for a progressive nation, and who can see through a profound search in the depth of his own soul a ladder to the eternal soul that directs the world?
If you are the first, then you are a heretic, a disbeliever in God even if you fast by day and pray by night.
If you are the second, then you are a violet in the garden of truth even though its fragrance is lost upon the nostrils of humanity or whether its aroma rises into that rare air where the fragrance of flowers is preserved.
Or are you a teacher on the platform of the city gathering experience from life and presenting it to the people as sermons you have learned?
If you are the first, then you are a sore and an ulcer. If you are the second, then you are a balsam and a medicine.
Or are you a faithful servant who serves only the welfare of the people?
If you are the first, then you are as a tare in the threshing floor of the nations; and if the second, then you are a blessing upon its granaries.
Or are you a companion, taking no action except hand in hand, nor doing anything unless she gives her thoughts and opinions, and sharing with her your happiness and success?
If you are the first, then you are a remnant of a tribe which, still dressing in the skins of animals, vanished long before leaving the caves; and if you are the second, then you are a leader in a nation moving in the dawn toward the light of justice and wisdom.
Or are you a clear thinker examining what is good and useful for society and spending your life in building what is useful and destroying what is harmful?
If you are the first, then you are feeble and stupid, and if you are the second, then you are bread for the hungry and water for the thirsty.
Or have you a gift which God has placed in your hands on which to play heavenly melodies which draw our hearts toward the beautiful in life?
If you are the first, then you are a juggler who evokes in our soul that which is contrary to what you intend.
If you are the second, then you are love in our hearts and a vision in our minds.