This was Barack Obama’s original campaign slogan, but it didn’t test all that well with the voters.
|American Literature||All American Literature|
|Author||Wiesel - Elie Wiesel|
…that they nearly also awarded him the Nobel Prize for Literature on the spot.
All right, we may be exaggerating a tad. But it was good. Real good.
In his speech, Wiesel argued for the importance of peace.
He begged the world to face history and learn from it, because “it is memory that will
He said that, “…there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but
there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
It was powerful, stirring, rich with horrifying anecdotes from Wiesel’s own life…
…and was enough to make a pacifist out of just about anyone.
And yet… there are still religious wars being waged every day.
Minorities are still persecuted, senseless acts of violence and cruelty run rampant.
Does this mean that Wiesel’s speech… really didn’t do much?
To be fair… it was just a speech.
A half hour or so of words.
Impactful and rousing words, granted… but words, and nothing more.
No weapons had been taken out of the hands of the hateful…
…no religious conversions had been performed. His speech might have changed minds…
…but in the scheme of things, he really didn’t reach that wide of an audience.
It wasn’t like the Nobel Committee could stream it online.
It would be asking a lot of Elie Wiesel to craft a speech that would actually inspire
peace on earth and good will toward men.
He was a great man with a great mind, but he was no miracle worker.
But just because there was no sudden, sweeping change in humankind’s treatment of one another…
…did that mean his speech was a failure? Obviously, if everyone in this world gave
up, we’d be in rough shape.
There would be acts of uninhibited racism committed every minute.
A misguided sense of ethnic superiority would reign supreme.
Although he was only one small soldier on a sprawling battlefield…
…didn’t Wiesel do his part to help the rest of us… keep fighting?
Or, perhaps more appropriately… to stop fighting?
It is these rare, inspirational voices that gradually move the slow ticking needle of
human progress forward.
Although the effect of this one speech on its own may be negligible…
…it is this practice of broadcasting a message promoting love and acceptance that reminds
each of us of our humanity.
It’s just a shame that we can’t flip on the TV and hear more of it, more often.
Instead of being inspired by some hot new actress to purchase her latest fragrance.