I saw the movie The Reader yesterday. Excellent movie… not as good as the book, but they rarely are. The one line from the film that I hope I remember to my grave is this: “It does not matter what we feel. It only matters what we do.” These words sum up most clearly what I believe is the key to living a "good life," the kind of life I want to live.
“It does not matter what we feel. It only matters what we do.”
For me, this concept more than any other expresses the lesson of the Holocaust; the millions of people who were aware of the camps wept and raged in their hearts over what they were witnessing, but did nothing. It does not matter how people at the time felt in their hearts about what was happening — or that they felt guilty afterward. They knew what was happening and they did nothing. This shall forever and ever remain the darkest fact of that time. The only fact that matters is not how they felt, but that they saw the horror before them and they remained silent.
The same holds true today. Whether it is in Darfur, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, or other foreign land, on our street, at our workplace or in our home, the guiltiest among us are those of us who witness acts of injustice or cruelty and turn our head away and pretend that we do not.
Saturday being Valentine's Day, all this led me to ponder once again the whole notion of “love” that, in one way or another, is so much a part of virtually every aspect of our life on earth. Every human being is searching, searching, searching for “this crazy little thing called love.” Whether it is romantic love, the love of a parent, a sibling, a friend, or a child, it is an obsession in our world. We believe that “love” may provide the answer to our problems, if we can only find some way to once and for all “get it right.” We believe that it is “love” that will bring true happiness, fulfillment, joy to our lives. If we can only find and hold onto that elusive feeling of “love” we will finally, finally feel peace in our mind and a smile in our heart.