Wednesday, 24 March 2010

I had coffee not so long ago with the cousin of a friend of mine. My friend is a writer and his cousin a business man and they both live in a country with a rather sketchy understanding of human rights. I knew that my friend had written a book which was critical of his country's regime and asked the cousin whether this book had been published. He said no and then added that if one has relatives one has certain responsibilities. I took his point and changed the subject but have been thinking about his response ever since. If you stand up to a dictatorship but harm your family in the process have you actually achieved anything or have you merely betrayed the one group of people towards whom you have a clear responsibility? On the other hand if you let the world around you go to pot and only look out for your own kin then are you any better than the ruling clans and mafias who also do all they can to protect their own family interests?

The pebble
is a perfect creature

equal to itself
mindful of its limits


I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth

(Zbigniew Herbert)

1 comment:

  1. Maybe some people may not see all sins as equal, they might consider some sins worse than the others.

    With Gandhi, animal food would be a paradigm shift vis-a-vis religion, not in a dogmatic way but where it considers animal life sacred, and even worthy of worship.