Thursday, March 22, 2012

The world as best as I remember it. Or, a lesson in history.

I’m somewhat of a history buff, particularly modern history.  My latest obsession has been digging back into World War 2.  I’m currently reading “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom. If you’re not familiar with the story, Corrie ten Boom and her family were part of the Dutch Resistance assisting Jews from persecution during the German occupation of Holland.  I recommend a quick Wikipedia search if you’re not familiar with the story.

Reading the book is giving me two contradicting emotions.  One emotion is a happy feeling that there are good people in the world.  People who will sacrifice their own lives for others, even people they don’t know!  Corrie lost a number of family members to the Germans.  The second emotion is the disturbing emotion of distress in the knowledge that there are truly evil people in the world.

The amazing thing about Germany in the 30’s and early 40’s is that many of the German people were lured into the belief of infallibility.  Many truly believed that they were the master race.  They were convinced of their superiority.  Reading about the absolute cruelty that one human can show another is very distressing.  I cannot comprehend treating another human in such cruel fashion.  While studying World War 2, I can’t help but think of the world we live in today.

I look at the world today and there are still people that want to destroy others.  I was going to add “for no reason” to that last sentence but it occurred to me, what does it matter?  Can you really have a reason for wanting to destroy another, or feel justified in such manner?  It can be an easy path to take to be “anti-war” or “anti-violence”, however the sad truth is that some people cannot be reasoned with.  For example, many nations tried to “reason” with Hitler.  Holland called themselves “Neutral” during the beginning of WW2, but it didn’t last.  They surrendered to Germany on May 14, 1940.

Many Americans of the day resisted getting into WW2 during this time, stating that it was not “our war”, but freedom is never free, nor is it everlasting as long as evil exists.  We were attacked on December 7, 1941, thrusting us into the war.  I often wonder how the world would look today had we not joined the fight.  I think about the “what ifs”.  I think about how history could have been so different had our Aircraft carriers been in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked.  It is very possible that I could not be sitting here writing this because it is not allowed.

It is easy to sit back and say that we should let the rest of the world fight amongst themselves, but as Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  We must stand up for what is right.  We must stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves.

My concern for our future is the passivity that I see in the world today.  We have become a self absorbed people, only interested in something if we can get something in return.   We need to be a people willing to sacrifice for others, not looking for a reward.  I pray for our future and my children.  I don’t mean to be Johnny Raincloud, but I don’t see a bright future coming and I sincerely hope I’m wrong.  I’ve never been more hopeful to be wrong about anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment