Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Choice, not blindness

I guess it is no secret that I laud life. It does not mean that I am blind for the suffering of others. One can not live in our present era and not be aware of that. The 20th century has seen the worst horrors, the most heinous crimes committed, not by vile criminals, but by common men and women, both by direct action or by association. So far the 21st century is not much better.
The philosopher Santayana wrote that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those words are on display in the Dachau concentration camp. ‘Never again’ was humanity to suffer the bitter fruit of racial superiority or nationalism. No more concentration camps. I don’t think it is necessary to create a list of horrors that prove that the less on was never learned. What is worse, the then victimized have turned into pepretrators themselves. It doesn’t really matter when acts of atrocity are committed based on feelings of racial superiority or on feelings of moral superiority. Both deny the innocence of the victims.
In this 21st century children still die as the result of preventable and curable diseases. One child every three seconds. Those who survive this can look forward to a life with abysmal education, social and economic abuse and low life expectancy.
I do not believe that life can only be enjoyed by experiencing the opposite as well. This gnostic dualistic thinking is not my style. Why would grieve be necessary to appreciate joy? No, I simply refuse to accomodate this era’s low esteem for the value of life, all life. Life has value in itself. No matter where you live, under whatever circumstances, every day should be welcomed as an opportunity. To never give up. Never to sink away in despair. To fight against the cynicism, the hopelesness, the general current. With every sunrise, with every awakening we can glorify the Giver of life …. by living, even in the face of death and destruction that is surrounding us.


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