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.

 

(1)

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.

 

(2)

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.

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