- "They came first for the Communists,
- and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
- Then they came for the Jews,
- and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
- Then they came for the trade unionists,
- and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
- Then they came for the Catholics,
- and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
- Then they came for me,
- and by that time no one was left to speak up."
This is a poem about Nazi Germany, of course. But how does it apply to our daily lives? How many times do we see inequities that we could affect in some way, and yet turn the other way, not wanting to get involved? How many times do we let someone's ugly behavior slide by unchallenged because we don't want to get involved? Or were afraid to say anything? I know I have done this and wrongly felt myself reasonable and calm in difficult situations where I should have taken a stand for what was right.
In the end, we are all in this together; the poem is absolutely right. No one is safe or immune. If one person can be treated unfairly, we all can be treated the same way. I try to ask myself: "what if this were me?"
So what do you think? To what situations in your life does this poem apply? Globally? Locally?
Labels: Monday's Musing