Saturday, November 21, 2009

Get past the past

Get past the past

One excuse that a lot of people use to avoid living free from this moment on is "injustices of the past".

I understand this in a way. It is horrible that certain races have been marginalized, enslaved, or exterminated throughout history. It is tragic that genocide against indigenous people has been more-or-less the norm in most examples of human migration. All land has been stolen from its rightful owners uncountable times, both throughout recorded history and in the impenetrable mists of prehistory. That was wrong, but there is no way to "make it right" today. Any "solution" would only cause more harm to people who didn't commit the aggression to begin with.

If there are actual survivors, then by all means let them seek restitution. Don't harm anyone who wasn't directly responsible while arbitrating these events. Don't expect restitution for abuses done to your forebears by someone else's forebears. For me to be punished for something someone else did before I was born is wrong and ridiculous. For me to benefit from some "restitution" applied to some situation that I wasn't directly harmed by, paid by someone who did no direct harm themselves, is just as bad. In cases like these I think it is more ethical to do nothing than it is to actively cause new harm. Not everything has a real solution, unfortunately. It would serve everyone well to realize that.

There has to be some point where I decide to wipe the ledger clear. The past is the past. It is done. Let it go and start fresh today. What I can do toward this goal is say "Never again" and act on that declaration. Never will I contribute to, or support, such barbarous acts. Never can any government (using money stolen from me) claim to be committing these acts in my name. Nope. Not in my name; not on my account. When and where such wrongs do occur anew, speak out if that is all you can do. Don't excuse the evildoers for any reason. Monkey-wrench and stand up to the bullies and thieves if you are in a position to do so. The future is ours to direct.

Don't let today become the regrettable past of tomorrow.