Unnoticing Small Unempathic Acts (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 143)

We should be mindful that unempathetic acts can have long-term consequences. Consider that back in 1542 Martin Luther wrote a pamphlet entitled Against the Jews (calling on Catholics to attack them) in which he advocated burning synagogues and destroying Jewish homes. Four hundred years later the young Adolf Hitler quoted Martin Luther in Mein Kampf to give his own Nazi racist views some respectability, going on to create the concentration camps like the one nine-year-old Thomas Buergenthal was in, with gas chambers that ended up killing 6 million Jews. This shows how dangerous it can be if small unempathic acts go unnoticed. My cousin Sacha (whose comic character Borat exposed contemporary anti-Semitism by posing as an anti-Semite himself) quotes Cambridge historian Ian Kershaw’s chilling phrase: “The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.

The Science of Evil

Simon Baron-Cohen          2011

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