Today’s Elie Wiesel update will cover a host of topics discussed during Elie’s time at the Chautauqua Institute earlier this week. This is my best interpretation of what I heard while furiously taking notes.
Peace out – Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership.
Can a person be moral without following a religion?
Yes. It all comes down to treatment of others. If you practice respect and compassion for others, you are moral -irregardless of your religion, beliefts, and values. “The more jewish I am, the more universal my message. That is true for all beliefs and religions.”
Responsibility to share stories…
“Anyone who lives through an experience is duty bound to tell others about that experience. To forget the victims is to kill them a second time.”
The danger of indifference (immorality)…
One of the worst forms of indifference is when it is practiced by people with the power to change the world. The people with the power to change the world have a higher level of accountability to take a stand for what is right and fight against the suffering of others.
Indifference is like a cancer that grows from cell-to-cell, person-to-person, city-to-city, country-to-country.
We are morally obligated to “respect the otherness in others.” We are duty bound to help children who fall to the ground, regardless of their race, religion, culture, or ethnic background. Any suffering inflicted by ourself or others is immoral. God is not indifferent, how can we be? The humanity of human beings can transcend all.
Are there evil people in the world?
Yes, there are evil people in the world, but so what. Our collective job is to create hope for those who are suffering. Only human beings can turn despair into hope. The violence must stop, the suffering must stop, we must create hope.
Can we call ourselves good?
Only God and other people can say that about us. We can not say that about ourselves.
Message to the young…
Be who you are. Learn who you are. Help your community. Help other communities. Do something with your years.
It is always a choice to stand up – to not be indifferent.
Young people have tremendous power. Big changes in the USA gained their critical momentum on campus (civil rights, vietnam war protests.)
Young people need to mobilize to correct the indifferences of their ancestors. Sign petitiions to show we are not indifferent. Organize other students to show we are not indifferent.
“Whatever you do in life, think higher and feel deeper.”