I was introduced to ‘the holocaust’ at an unusually young age due to lines of my extended family ending in the death camp known as Auschwitz. I witnessed film footage of bulldozers plowing through mountains of corpses before I was old enough to watch violent television or horror flicks. I was not shocked by what I saw, though it was no man-made production. The stomach-churning fact that it was all real did not drive me to tears, but rather, into a deadening silence and somber acceptance: This is reality.
As I grew older I was bewildered by how so many people referred to the holocaust as if it were ancient history carried out by primordial buffoons. My grandfather’s mere existence did not permit me the peace of mind to join in their enthusiasm for what they assumed had long come to pass. I never shared their perspective. It seemed to me really not that much had changed despite being wrapped in the cotton wool of “God Bless America”. America didn’t seem so above Nazi Germany with all of our self-righteously defined wars in other lands and scapegoating of other races.
What resolution there has been for Jewish victims, is the same resolution there has been for black slaves, for prejudiced Muslims, for “lower castes” of all shapes and sizes: Nothing at all. There has been no resolution. There has been no evolution. There has only been sweeping under the rug of what realities most of us possess too weak of stomachs to behold. Instead, we settle for fictitious depictions of the same exact stories and scenarios so we can try to process it a little easier with the friendly reminder that “no one was hurt in the making of this film”.
When we look everywhere but hell on earth we are consciously choosing ignorance. When the citizens of Nazi Germany chose to sit comfortably and be pacifists, cheering for their own football league with the encouragement of authorities giving away pats on the back for being “good boys and girls” they were consciously choosing ignorance. If we sit back like a crowd of spectators simply observing the decrepit blade of cyclic history fall on the heads of others as if we are watching a boxing match, we are consciously choosing ignorance. We are far more involved then we may have been lead to believe, but may not have realized it just yet. Maybe we are still deciding who we really are and what we really want to do in our world. But if we entirely let this torch be passed onto another, someone who will save the day and rescue us all for us; Indeed, we are not assisting the formation of a solution, we are contributing to the food-source of the problem. Evil does not rule over us. Our shallow comfort-zones and inability to accept any accountability for it’s existence volunteers it. But we are not incapable beings. We have just been looking in all the wrong places; Places where we are made to feel small and insignificant instead of reminded of how truly powerful we are as humans. Find those reminders & remain inspired: Yes, one person can make a difference in the world.