I hope everyone is staying warm in this snowy weather. I’ve been snuggled up with my blankets, hot chocolate, work, and (when I find the time!) a good historical fiction book. As some of you may know, I have a strong interest in World War II. It amazes me how influential Adolf Hitler was and how strong the individuals who survived the Holocaust were. But I’m telling you, things get worse again so don’t be a bystander!
Yehuda Bauer, a historian who immigrated to Israel to escape the Nazis in 1939, once said about the Holocaust, “Thou shall not be a victim. Thou shall not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shall not be a bystander.” The number of people who “go along to get along” and behaved as bystanders during World War II is high.
When we are afraid to speak up for what we believe in, we may not be contributing to the Holocaust, but we are allowing other disasters to take place. Sometimes all it takes is one person to stand up and say “no,” or that he or she feels differently. Have you ever held a different opinion but held your tongue so that you won’t stick out?
Don’t be afraid to stand out and to stand up for what you believe or feel. As students, we are taught continuously to be leaders. Leaders stand up for what they believe in. They are willing to listen, empathize, understand, compromise, and more, but in order to do these things, they must also be willing to speak up.