On healing & some Ettie Hillesum.

Ettie Hillesum writes about all that I’ve been thinking of this past week. There was an atrocity committed which took the lives of 8 Chinese tourists. A decorated police officer became disgruntled after having lost his retirement benefits because of a case he had become associated with so he took an entire tourist bus hostage. After the incident occured there were bodies to be sent home, lives lost and grief shared between two nations. There was also a lot of explainig and finger pointing going on and it became so heated that it was hard to process the situation properly. In the end though, I read Ettie Hillesum’s words  now and feel like she sum’s up most of what I feel. So, here’s to healing.

We may of course be sad and depressed by what has been done to us; that is only human and understandable. However: our greatest injury is one we inflict upon ourselves. I find life beautiful, and I feel free. Thy sky within me is as wide as the one stretching above my head. I believe in God and I believe in man, and I say so without embarrassment. Life is hard, but that is no bad thing. If one starts by taking one’s own importance seriously, the rest follows. It is not morbid individualism to work on oneself. True peace will come only when every individual finds peace within himself; when we have all vanquished and transformed our hatred for our fellow human beings of whatever race—even into love one day, perhaps that is asking too much. It is, however, the only solution. I am a happy person and I hold my life dear indeed …

And there’s also this:

I am not easily frightened. Not because I am brave, but because I know that I am dealing with human beings, and that i must try as hard as i can to understand everything that anyone ever does. And that was the real import of this morning: not that a disgruntled young Gestapo officer yelled at me, but that I felt no indignation, rather a real compassion…All the blame must be put on the system that uses such people. What needs eradicating is the evil in man, not man himself…

and finally:

I know that a new and kinder day will come. I would so much like to live on, if only to express all the love I carry within me. And there is only one way of preparing the new age, by living it even now in our hearts.


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