|A good sense of history seeks to address |
the question of "where" more than "when"
History they say is written by the victors. But memory (national) is not. Remembrance is right that recalls the human cost (in all the names of those who fell along our journey of return) and makes a just and human account in the heart before God of all the things history seldom mentions... a present and living account.
I used to study history but it was impersonal. I failed to impress upon myself that history is much more than pages of a book. The aim of history is to acquire a "sense of history". Not become all too familiar with the past but discern from a good knowledge of it, a clearer understanding of the living present.
In this way, books become more valuable than just paper and ink. And what our teachers impart to us about history becomes for us a form of art than just ancient knowledge. We begin to have an appreciation... that history is not just a long tale of woe.
Anti-Semitism too is historical. Here is what I presently understand about it:
|The Star of David corrupted into an anti-semitic label.|
These labels are all of them devices intended
to dehumanize its victim.
First of all, anti-Semitism is easy. Maybe that's why small-minded people like it. Because it fits.
A says its better than Z to feel itself "the letter A".
A then proceeds to prove to the alphabetical realm that what A says is true, that Z is only half-a-letter. A then begins to persecute Z because A is "A" and A says so. Ludicrous!
The next in line for A after Z is laid low would be Y. Meaning after the Jews, the Gypsies... then the Blacks, Reds, Yellows, Whites, Browns, Grays, Blues, Muslims, Christians, Catholics - everything that doesn't conform to the "A"s own version of the alphabet right up to A's closest buddy, B.
In spirit, the relentless hatred that dwells behind all things anti-human shall only thrive on the victimization of our humanity - where ever and whenever we may allow it. This is the spirit that feeds on anti-semitism. Evil.
A's own version of the alphabet? A, A, A, A, A... get my drift?
When everything is A, there will be peace. And it will make no sense.
To A however, it really doesn't matter that in A's version of the alphabet, one can not even spell "peace". It is a paradox that will be rammed down every other letter's conception of itself.
I am not saying that the letter Z is better than A.
What I'm saying is everybody is different and we should be knowledgeable enough of ourselves now (after enough of a span of time) to accept the fact that we can only be meaningful as letters (as nations) as we are and as a whole. That way we can spell anything (truthfully, meaningfully, and profitably).
The fuse that A needs to light that will cause the subsequent implosion of the synergistic diversity that is the real alphabet, of course, is Z.
That to me is Anti-Semitism.
Allow it into the soul of your nation and it will fester into all those other "isms" that a free and human people ought to always guard against.
Certainly it was never a part of our peace here in the Philippines and if I can help it, shall never prosper in the soul of this Nation.
Not just because of my memory of Anne Frank and her times but because the memory of the last 2000 years is full of destructively inhuman divisions like these... too many, too much. We are confronted with numbers so large and so terrible, it intimates to each our remembrances that we shall not even be enough to render unto the living God, an adequate account...
Go past 2000 years and we get more of the same... but 2000 years is all it takes.
Indeed, the last century as the culmination of the last 1900 years is a foretelling enough to understand that if we remain adamant in our clinging to old molds that need breaking, the momentum of the past shall sweep us into perhaps another century of more of the last age... if we can not account for that century then another one more terrible than the last shall be poured as fire down upon our heads.
Until everything is parched dry. Until the spirit of humanity is diminished enough and darkness overwhelm all nations utterly with the madness of war.
I do not want that... a world overrun by sin and war, dark and indistinct from the darkness of the void. In contrast, I choose another vision of peace. (As it were, one that spells p-e-a-c-e.)
The peace I want is the opposite, obtained through the opening of a new path into the morrow. One that leads to a vision apart from the one whose fruits (the bitterest of which is genocide and an absent sense of truth) we have experienced in the last century; a vision obtained through the closing of the door of the present - as completely as possible - from the evils of the past age.
Peace can be complicated at times, I agree.
We are being confused by so many truths about it even now, here in our Philippines. But if we stay on the path (knowing the firmness of its first principles) and keep our hearts focused on a shared vision of "something new and wonderful", I know determination and faith will take us to places in time we've never been as a Country... better places.
The peace of our times will never be a perfect peace, I definitely agree.
The national peace shall always be an unfolding work in time and will always mirror the truths about our common humanity. Knowing its foundation and its vision should be enough... for it is both location and destination, plus a compass of identity and memory to carry us through.
And vigilant trust; an agility to react and to innovate (ideals, principles and vision) properly. For we are as a nation still learning a new landscape and have yet to reach a safe distance down along the path to our new morning... a new dawn para sa lahat ng Pilipino (para na rin siguro sa lahat sa mundo).
Salaam. Shalom. Peace.
Let us continue to work and pray for peace in our time, here in our Philippines and in our world...
Mabuhay po tayong lahat.
|JFK in a letter requesting his Secretary of Labor to deliver |
a wreath in their nation's behalf to the Anne Frank House wrote...
"the hopeful and the gentle are the true makers of history".