I wanted to write about this for some days, but kept putting it off due to lack of time.
On the day of Martin Luther King’s day, I thought of Martin Niemoller. Today, I read a message from someone about the attitude towards answering questions in Yahoo Knowledge and I thought of him again. I am deeply touched by his famous quote. Ignorance is what brings disaster to mankind. (This is not his quote. I don’t know if anyone ever said so, if not, I will claim it mine – Elisa’s quote. J)
What did Niemoeller really say? Which groups did he name? In what order? This still remains a mystery.
Anyway, these are some versions of his quote.
When the Nazis came for the communists, I said nothing; I was, of course, no communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; I was, of course, no Social Democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I said nothing; I was, of course, no trade unionist.
When they came for me, there was no one left who could protest.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
The reason that I thought of that quote is the impact that we may have created if possessing the right attitude. Being a stander-by actually helps spreading the harm created by the devil. I cannot concur with what people stated to take a gamesome attitude about the answers in Yahoo knowledge. That is irresponsible to me. Having said that, I may be too serious. I am like that with my job and with everything I do. I take everything seriously and that is the legacy I would want to leave behind for my kids.
** By the way, I neglected to say upfront why I thought of Martin Niemoller initially. It was because in the midst of the US Presidential inauguration and the celebration of black civil rights, I thought of Taiwan's future and its civil rights that may be taken away.