Sunday, November 15, 2015
People being evil? Why do they do it?
I don't know. But they seem to be doing it a lot more. There was that book that came out last year or the year before about how civilization is more civilized than it was in the old days.
I find that hard to believe. I remember giving a reading/presentation about my parents for a class of college students studying genocide. I don't know if the students learned anything but I learned that more people have died of genocide since the UN establised it's policies against genocide in the early 1950s than died in the Holocaust.
I'm always astonished when I find out stuff like that. I look around my house and my neighborhood and my city and my state and my country, and I see that sure there's some bad people here and there but where are the millions of bad people who are ready to kill millions of their neighbors.
One of my favorite journalists is Rszyard Kapuscinski (a Pole who grew up under communism) who wrote a book called Shadow of the Sun about his travels among the genocidists of Africa. He went here and he went there trying to track down the causes of the killing. They were always absurd, meaningless, trivial.
What I took away from that book is that people can do bad things for the most absurd, meaningless, trivial reason and no law of God or man can stop them.
My father felt that all Germans were evil. When I was a kid, he wouldn't let me play with kids with German names like Mueller or Rickert or Hauser.
Was he right? I asked my mother what she thought of the Germans. She said some were good, some bad.
I guess that's what we have to remember. Some people can be bad, will be bad.
So here I am a 67 year old still trying to sort out the truths my parents left me.