A World of Nuances

La Voz de Galicia – August 11, 2017 →

Cristina PatoHanging on the wall of a café in the middle of nowhere, the tile read: “Happy are those who can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” This simple saying helped me reflect on the notion of happiness, on whether it is a feeling or a way of learning to understand and accept life. According to Galicia’s hymn, there will always be “good and generous” as well as “idiotic and dark” people. Though when we are asked, we would surely place ourselves among the good and generous, the truth is that sometimes, without knowing it, we also belong in the second group. It all depends on one’s perspective.

One of the Chief Prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials, the nonagenarian Benjamin Ferencz said during an interview a few months ago: “War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.” Listening to the man who was a witness and a key figure in bringing to justice Nazi criminals say that we cannot think of evil as an isolated fact, but as a response to a set of circumstances was quite instructive. One is not always able to be generous enough to have perspective. And if a response to a set of circumstances is neither measured nor well considered, then this is when the system fails and we fall either into a state of indolence or in the chaos of war.

In the digital world, there are 256 shades of gray between white and black. And I want to think that between the good and generous and the idiotic and dark there is also an infinite range that we must learn to observe and analyze so that we can all prevent a completely polarized society that takes us nowhere. Because happy we would all be if we could give without remembering and take without forgetting…

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