Thursday, April 06, 2006

Not caring about others results in war

As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place.
- Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz

This is a sobering thought when you imagine a religious leader standing at the gates of a concentration camp where hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of her own people were gassed to death (to save the cost of bullets).

But a Holocaust reminder is not what this quote is about. It's about recognizing how potentially dangerous people are who are deadly certain that their way is the one and only right way.

It's a tough job to sort out those who support, promote and argue the merits of their position vigorously from those who believe there is no room to accept that they are wrong, that they might have thought something through inaccurately, that they might be imperfect. But it should be done.

When we look at the martyrs through history, including those in recent years, we should consider how wise they were to give their lives if they could have made choices to more good for a longer time by avoiding death.

How wise are political leaders who send their young men and women to their deaths in the cause of war? Someone wisely said "In war there are no winners." War is a situation where a political or military leader sends others to their deaths, knowing they will be safe themselves.

Was there really no other way before a war was declared? Maybe there would have been if our leaders were prepared to mind someone else's business before those people got themselves (and subsequently us) into tragic trouble.

They certainly have no trouble minding someone else's business when they declare and fight a war.

Not caring earlier makes weapons necessary later.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to demonstrate that people should care about others in their world before they get themselves into severe trouble.
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