My life there and afterwards

Archive for March, 2017

Passive Resistance

I’m studying History, specifically what different groups of German people did to resist Hitler and the National Socialist Party, or Nazism. It’s so easy to look back at that time and to wonder why more people didn’t resist and overthrow Hitler. It is so obvious now how evil that regime was. One thing I have learned about human nature, through my experience in a Christian religious cult, is that we try to make things work, we rationalize the bad times as temporary, we endure bad things always thinking they will get better. Seldom do we stop and take a realistic look at the world we are currently living in.

And yet at the same time we do resist, we do speak up, we are aware of all the terrible things that happen all around us every day.

One of the things I have found hard to deal with since leaving that group is just how much bad news I am bombarded with every day. I have had to concentrate first on re-building my own life, and have not been able to deal with anything broader than that for a while now.

I find myself more accepting now that this is the way life is. A lot of people are messed up, a lot of government is messed up, and it affects us all.

I am not the kind of person who can resist wrong doing actively or violently, but I am discovering that I can resist passively, by writing and speaking. It doesn’t matter if I see the results of my words. It matters that I speak, verbally and in writing.

Many people think Trump will be good for our country because he will approach leadership as a business. No matter what expertise he may have in that area, I cannot condone his total disrespect of women and minorities. Anyone who can be so prejudiced and rude towards other people does not represent me or the majority of our country. I cannot sit passively by and say nothing. For my own self-respect I will voice my concerns.

I don’t believe in war or violence. Passive resistance doesn’t seem to gain much, and yet it is the only route I will take. In a few cases it did work in a big way. Gandhi and Mandela.

My teacher said something in class this week that really struck me. “If you see an instance of a man disrespecting women, do something about it.” I believe this is a call for all of us to notice what goes on around us and to live up to our ideals. We can make a difference.

 

Speak and write

It’s important to speak against injustice and for humane treatment of each other. If I have any hope that society can grow more humane, than I feel a responsibility to voice my thoughts; against injustice, for empathy and compassion.

I truly do not know if society, or mankind as a species, can evolve into a gentler breed, but I do believe that some of us can. We may always be a minority, but we do exist.

Violence and control, by their nature, are more loud, visible and domineering than love and care, but I believe they are shorter lived. Respect and empathy endure, albeit quietly.

Writing is my form of speaking

I can never know whether my writing will have any affect on others, so my primary reason for writing is to satisfy my own sense of responsibility to take a stand against the injustice of human actions.

Just as I have no satisfaction of justice against CJ, I have no real hopes of personally influencing the American society I find myself in. However, just as I was/am propelled to write and tell my story of life at CJ, I am also drawn to speak out about societal ills, and to express my opinions and hopes of constructive human interactions.

In the History class I am now taking, I am impressed by the stories of resistance to Hitler that I am reading about. Although they did not “succeed” in stopping Hitler’s madness, they are a testimony to the bravery and ethics of those who would not be controlled by his regime. I don’t believe outward success should determine what I do to resist wrong-doing. While their efforts did not give them the success they hoped for, they did create a story and a witness for future generations, those of us who can look back and be enlightened by their efforts. The same is true for us today.