Québec’s motto is ”Je me souviens” (I remember), and it probably has nothing to do with the short sentence written on our license plates, but I strongly believe that the best way to avoid repeating Man’s worst mistake is to remember where we went the wrong way, in the past.
Most people would probably agree with that idea.
But is that really true? I don’t mean to say that people don’t care about past disasters, but I think that, as a society, we tend to consider that what’s done is done, and to leave it behind us.
Tonight, I watched a documentary called ”Shoah, les oubliés de l’histoire” (Shoah, the forgotten through history). It was an uncensored patchwork of little videos shot by the Soviets, through the Nazi attempt at wiping Jews off the surface of the Earth.
It was raw, shocking and quite honestly completely disgusting. At some point, I considered switching channels to watch something lighter. But at that very moment, a scene picturing captured children, men and women staring at the camera was playing. Zapping felt like telling them, You know what? I am aware of the Holocaust. But I don’t really feel comfortable knowing what happened to you.
So I kept watching.
It was sickening to see human beings, sometimes whole families, aligned on the edge of a ravine, and shot before they were pushed on top of the other cadavers. I was horrified, watching people like you and me, getting hung ”live” before my eyes, and left for days hanging there, as a reminder to other Jews of what awaited them (thank God they didn’t have HD cameras back then). I couldn’t believe that even simple civilians would beat their neighbours to death in the streets.
The painful memory of how bad mankind can be. And this is just one example of all the atrocities that happened all over the world.
I don’t mean to say that everybody should watch such documentaries, but I know that for me, it is a strong reminder of our need to spread as much kindness as we can, on a daily basis.
Because there will always be people ready to use evilness and cruelty to get power. There will always be haters among us. And the best way to fight them is not to hate them back. It is to put our foot down and refuse to play their game.
I will not be a racist, or put people down based on their religion (or lack of), their sexual preferences, their beliefs or their difference whatever it might be.
I certainly am not perfect, I have my fair share of flaws, but I will do what I can to make my little corner of the world a safe and tolerant place.
And I will remember….