It is said that history repeats itself until we learn the lessons needed to change. We may ourselves feel we have learned important lessons from the past, but each day millions of new souls are born. What then is our responsibility?
We ask, how could the great catastrophes of world history have been allowed to happen? It is not the blatant march through conquered cities we denounced, the box we marked on the ballot, the human in crisis we stood up for, or the hungry mouths we fed that ultimately matter. It is what we chose to ignore; the subtle rumblings of bellies, the quietly enacted policies which bore us, it is the blame placed upon others, or the rise of sensationalism and normalized ignorance over arduous research and curiosity which have become our folly.
Whether it is politics, social justice, relationships, or addiction – history always repeats itself. Not because new people who do not remember continuously join this world, but because those of us who do, fail to see that remembrance is not enough.
Our responsibility lies in walking the talk. We must be willing to be uncomfortable, willing to listen, willing to relate painful lessons, willing to reach out to others – ultimately, we must be willing to live our beliefs, to be an example, and to remind ourselves and others of what we have learned.