A Reassuring Thought During Hard Times For Those Who Believe in Facts, Fairness, Reason and Rules

I think it is fair to say that those of us who are working for access to justice believe in “facts, fairness, reason, and rules” for resolving disputes at both the individual and societal level.  The access to justice movement is about making sure that all have meaningful access to those processes.

The intentional destruction of our political system through the use of contempt for others, incitement to violence, and threats of violence makes this a hard time for those who have tried to hold fast to that ideal.

I want to share with you how I try to hold on to the belief that this will all work out OK.

For years, I have been asking people who are old enough to remember World War II what was the point at which they were sure the Allies had won.  I get every answer imaginable, all the way through to “not till the very end.”

But the answer I find most amazing, as well as most reassuring for our current turmoil, is the reply of my Holocaust-surviving aunt, who found us only in 1994, 53 years after last seeing her brother, my father, and after almost 20 years of searching.

Her answer — and this from one who saw the absolute height of Nazi power and evil — “It never even crossed my mind that we would lose.”

Now, my aunt had already become an atheist (“my God was murdered in the Ghetto”).  But, when I asked why she had not even considered the possibility of the Allies losing, she replied:  “I just could not believe that the human race was that evil.”  That’s surely the ultimate in humanistic faith of good over evil.

So, that’s what I believe now about the choices America is being faced with.  I just do not believe that we are so bad as to go down the wrong path.

I hope that helps.  And, I hope we all  manage to find the wisdom and skill (and in the case of those left behind by one party, the needed courage) to do the right thing.


About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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4 Responses to A Reassuring Thought During Hard Times For Those Who Believe in Facts, Fairness, Reason and Rules

  1. Claudia Johnson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom Richard. When I was 13 or so, in the mist of a most horrific civil rights war in El Salvador, I asked my mom if the world or civil society was ending–seeing all the death, fear, and despair.. She told me–that as long as there are children being born–there was hope. Children would not be born in a world lacking love, compassion, justice, patience. Those words reassured me then and reassure me now–and are similar to your aunt’s. Humanity is not evil. Individuals act evil. We choose who we listen to, and who we follow, and how we act and how we spend our time.

  2. George Chandler says:

    You’re aunt’s faith could have been buttressed by her knowledge that the USA was still there and still believed in its own ideals. If we continue down the path we’re on now then where’s the repository of ideals strong enough to enforce them against a fascist USA? Scandinavia? Canada? Costa Rica? Good luck with that.

  3. Eve Ricaurte says:

    Thank you for this uplifting note and reminding us that the sky is not falling, we need to carry on with hope and dignity.

  4. Peter Fielding says:

    Richard. Your recall of your Aunt’s ” belief” is moving and it recognizes that , at the time, she had little evidence to support this belief. Nevertheless it was her wherewithal not to give up. For me and only in retrospect, the turning point of WW II you asked about was when the Nazis did not invade the UK after what is now know as the airwar of the Battle of Britain when we stood alone behind the words of Churchill: ” We will fight them on the beaches…… we will never surrender”

    In the face of Napoleon’s onslaught, the Russian withdrawal , waiting for the onset of winter, was the strategic moment of victory in that conflict.

    I see no such “turning point” for the United States in the current exhibition of fascist principles that we are hearing and seeing on a daily ( all-day ! ) basis. Whether The Donald becomes President or not is only one of the questions. At a more fundamental level we must ask ourselves and address the reasons why he is getting so much support. Rather than looking outward at how others can be ” blamed” for this outcome, we all need to look inwards and ask the question of what have we individually contributed , by both omission and commission , to a rising tide which threatens so much of what many would call our ” civilized western principles and freedoms”.

    To go into an analysis to respond to this challenge is more than this comment should undertake . However , the fundamentals of “one person one vote” can and must be the means by which we determine the outcome . Not behind the scenes maneuvering but the courage to reverse our silence which will make the difference. That is my belief and I hope that others will think and do the same.

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