I grew up with the son of a Holocaust survivor in my Jewish congregation. He wrote a story sharing the 6 years he spent in Nazi ghettos and concentration camps that we read in 8th grade religious school and was later published by his son. I deep dived into that example of humanity. Because that’s what it is. It’s not the tale of death or suffering or even war. That’s not where the power is. It’s the story of humanity in one dramatic burst. In the whole story of the Nazi led holocaust there is the best and the worst of people. What I came to understand was that it all happened because a million small people made a billion little decisions -most of them not to kill or torture or even endorse, but to look the other way out of apathy or fear. Every element, every action, every murder and murderer, and every life saved was a person with the potential for unconditional love, trust, and optimism. People not unlike us.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The ripples starting in Germany in 1933 were not exceptional. The perpetrators of the Holocaust were not either. Nor were those that ended it. Those that have stood, scared and bold, against hate-breeding-fear to keep it from happening elsewhere countless times before and since, they are as exceptional as they are unknown.
What Abram Korn will never know he taught me is that pack mentality is dangerous and the only thing worse is apathy. We all must own that we write our own stories. We’re all scared sometimes. We are all as capable of being a bystander as we are a hero or a victim of hate. We must chose, in word AND deed, to be otherwise. What moves me every time are the people -their stories…. the power of the beauty in humanity. In the midst of the most ugly, there always sits love and laughter and forgiveness. And it persists. Hate is consuming. Like an out of control wildfire, it can do deep and lasting damage, but hate is not sustainable. Every one of us is an element in the story of our lives, of our people, of our time in history. Always, daily, we must ask ourselves, what story are you?
Hate is consuming. Like an out of control wildfire, it can do deep and lasting damage, but hate is not sustainable.
I decided to make Inclusicare part of my story. This is a concrete way I can step beyond my straight, white, cisgender place of safety and not be a bystander in the midst of turmoil. All humans have a right to healthcare that leaves them feeling respected and heard; that includes all their needs. This is basic equality that should be above who or how a person loves any other. I see fear and hate that echos elements of the past where bystanders made all the difference. Let’s not make a registry of those who might be targeted. Let’s make a registry of those who are willing to stand up and keep that from happening in the first place. Allies will turn the tide and I am determined to be an element in that motion. Inclusicare is me standing on the side of love.