Sunday, October 22, 2006

What it means to resist the war---and the little Hitler inside us

(by Marina)

"Dictatorship is a constant lecture instructing you that your feelings, your thoughts and desires are of no account, that you are a nobody and must live as you are told by other people who desire and think for you." --- Stephen Vizinczey

As much as this quote galvanizes resistance, I have also found it necessary to keep in mind what Mother Theresa once said, that she was led to do her work because she realized she had "a Hitler inside me." It's easy to tell other people how to live their lives, and another thing to listen to where they're coming from, important to shine a light on the suffering of the planet and animals so that others may see what was hidden, and another thing to stick with them as they show you their hidden fears and anxieties. Everyone has to start from where they are, and trying to dictate "the truth" to others dooms your efforts from the start. We on the political left need to remember this just as much as those on the political right. This Ken Nerburn quote says it all: "Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lie brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace."

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