Next Fight, or Last Day
This is how genocide begins: not with concentration camps and widely publicized massacres, but slowly, quietly, incrementally, targeting just a few victims here and there. Inexorably, brick by brick, a wall of separation is constructed between those deemed normal and those deemed undesirable, until the propaganda about the latter group's inferiority and subhuman status has become so firmly ingrained in the public consciousness that they can be killed in large numbers without concern or remorse.
I wrote about cowardice in my last post, about the consequences that can flow from just one person's reluctance to get involved. This doesn't apply exclusively to wealthy folks like Bill Gates; anyone's actions can have long-lasting repercussions, for good or evil. Zilari touched on this subject when she wrote about the responsibility of bloggers not to mislead readers. To put it simply, words are power. We touch others' lives every day with our words. There is a moral burden that goes along with this power.
Sometimes I wonder if I have done enough, if I am being too passive in the face of evil, not speaking up as much as I could, letting myself get lazy. Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to do too much, losing my sense of perspective, getting obsessed, burning myself out. How can anyone ever know what the right balance is?
20 years ago, I was a coward. When I learned that babies with Down syndrome were being thrown away like garbage, I said "oh, that's awful," and I did nothing. At that time I was young, had no money or influence, didn't think there was much I could do about it, and didn't think it was my war anyway because there wasn't anyone with Down's in my family. All of those reasons for doing nothing seemed sensible enough, as such reasons go, and obviously it's neither practical nor possible to go on a crusade every time one sees evil in the world. But now I wonder, if I had taken the time to speak out then, before abortion of babies with disabilities had become a routine and socially accepted practice, could my small efforts have made a difference in turning our world away from the path it's on now?
Of course, there is no way of knowing such things, and I'll never be able to answer that question. All I know is that the battle has now been joined on the Last Day.