“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”
Timothy Snyder puts his finger on something that I’ve not been able to pinpoint before, but with this sentence the significance of symbols of loyalty becomes very clear. The chapter title reads Take responsibility for the face of the world, and he continues:
The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.
It is so easy to set standards of Us and Them, to separate, distinguish, exclude. It doesn’t take much at all. To some extent, I think it comes naturally for us (as a species); but that doesn’t negate the individual responsibility I have, to be observant of myself, to notice when I do exclude, when I divide the world into good and bad guys, into Us and Them. Because me noticing, and gently nudging myself towards unity, inclusion, connection, makes my life so much lovelier to live, truth be told. And I think that makes your life lovelier as well. That’s me taking responsibility for the face of the world.
Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book ”On tyranny: Twenty lessons from the twentieth century” by Timothy Snyder, which also happen to be the first book of The Gifted Book club, having the first meeting come October 4th 2017.