I have been forced to stare things in the face that I do not want to look at. With all this deep-thinking going on at school, it feels like my stomach will never be out of knots. In Language Arts we're learning about the Holocaust.
And it is one man, doing that to so many people, but it is not one man. Hitler organized it all. He was ingenious, charismatic, deranged, and evil. And this is where my first question is raised: Do I hate him? I have prided myself on not hating, going above and beyond as to forgive and to be kind. And I don't think I do. There was something very bad in his head that made him do wrong.
I probably have no right to say that. I am not a Jew, neither in religion or race. I am not a survivor. I am not related to any survivors. I don't even know any survivors or anyone related to them. But when somebody does something so horrible, even to one group, I think it is every individual who needs to decide that.
The second question raised by the Holocaust is: Could I stand up for another if in that situation? If I was there, standing on the sidelines, watching my friends, my neighbors, be taken away, would I say no? I would like to think that I would stand up, say no, take me too, but let's be honest. I'm not always the person I want to be. The survival instinct is stong. And sometimes, so is sticking with the group.
I am getting a good education. I am firm in my beliefs and convictions. Everyone is equal. Kindness is a great value. Standing up, being an individual, is important. I've never been in a difficult situation before. I can't know whether I will or I won't. I just hope and pray that I will stand up for what I believe in.
I just hope and I pray that I can carry the words I know and love in my heart. The fragmented memories of my past, of what I've read, of what I've felt so strongly that I thought my heart would burst. I want to be fair, kind, and forgiving. I want to be loving and sweet, hopeful and optimistic.
I'll always be striving to be that way, but I plan to have no illusions.
It's not that easy.
Life is not black and white. It's not dark and light. It's not simple. It's complex, confusing, and downright overwhelming. It's easy for people to say, "I know what I'd do."
"I know what I'd choose."
It's not so easy to do it. I don't know what was going on in the hearts and the minds of people going through the Holocaust. I don't know what's going on in the hearts of the minds of people suffering, of my best friends. For people I know well I can guess, but that's all it is - guessing. It's 20/20 in hindsight. But hindsight isn't the future.
I do know one thing of the future, though.
Through all my life I will try. I will try to be kind, I will try to stay true to my beliefs. I will always hope and pray that I will stand up for the right. That I'll help others.
But let's be honest.
I'm not always the person I want to be.