Quotations on Integrity

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Frederick_Douglass_c1860s

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

                                                                 Frederick Douglass

 

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(https://pixabay.com)

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

                                                                Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Elie_Wiesel_2012_Shankbone

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“One person of integrity can make a difference.”

                                                                Elie Wiesel

Needed Books For Our Time

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Some books speak to a specific time, and some reach across eras with their messages. Some include a message for a definite audience, while others span a more general readership.  And some times call out for certain books to be read.

Books are one form of the Media, which must remain free if freedom itself is to survive. Given the turmoil of our present time, I am suggesting these books as crucial reading for today’s world:

1984

 George Orwell

1984

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Night

Elie Wiesel

wiesel-elie

(http://night2011.wikispaces.com)

It Can’t Happen Here

 Sinclair Lewis

itcanthappenhere

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

 

Quotations on Bigotry, Justice, and Injustice

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“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”

                                                                     Albert Einstein

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(https://pixabay.com)

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

                                                                     Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

                                                                     Elie Wiesel

R.I.P. Elie Wiesel

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Elie_Wiesel_2012_Shankbone

https://commons.wikimedia.org

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate, and author of Night, his memoir of being a prisoner in the Holocaust, died this weekend.  Mr. Wiesel, besides being an extraordinary writer, whose work brought the experience of the evil of the Holocaust to the forefront of many readers, was also one of the most powerful moral voices of our time.

I read Mr. Wiesel’s book Night as a teenager, and I was deeply struck by the power and the messages it contains.  I made a connection with the horror of the Holocaust and the hope of humanity through this text.  I will keep the discussion of my personal impact of this book short, because it is so deep and so complex that I could write forever on it.  But, it was another lesson that we are all connected and must remember this joint humanity–always.

Mr. Wiesel argued powerfully that it is not enough to simply not do evil, but that it is the moral responsibility of people to oppose it wherever it exists. He said, “Whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation, we must always take sides.” and “As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our lives will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs. (From his Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.)

elie wiesel

President Obama, in speaking of him, said of Mr. Wiesel, “Elie Wiesel was one of the great moral voices of our time, and in many ways, the conscience of the world.”

We should honor his work and commitment to justice, and we should remember, especially in our turbulent times, often filled with hatred and bigotry, that we are morally compelled to oppose injustice and bigotry.

Rest In Peace, Elie Wiesel.  The world will miss you.