Remember the Past, Improve the Future

The world recently marked the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

This and many other camps like it were the places of millions of massacres and indescribable suffering. Those responsible for these atrocities will forever be known as murderers. Those who knew of them, or willfully tried not to know, and did nothing to stop the atrocities will forever be known as conspirators and cowards. Those who took responsibility and fought to liberate more than 200,000 people from these camps and end the work of death in them will forever be known as heroes.

Pulitzer Prize-winning musician Bob Dylan described heroes as “someone who understands the responsibility that comes with freedom.”  As we remember the past and those responsible in each of these three groups during World War II, we have an opportunity to be responsible for a better future. Or we can choose to be one of the timid souls who say nothing and look the other way.

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with freedom.”
–Bob Dylan

Today there are plenty of issues for us to address, problems to solve. Whatever our sphere of influence we can make a difference by simply taking responsibility and acting to make the world a better place.

Recently a Southwest Airlines flight was heading from Minneapolis to Atlanta. A passenger named Monica Nelson was pregnant and traveling alone with her 20-month-old son. She later related to USA TODAY she was nervous her husband could not be there to help. When her son grew fussy, the man seated in her row surprised her by offering to help so she could get some rest. He said he was a father would be happy to help her young son. After she had accepted his help, he walked up and down the aisle holding the boy for most of the flight, soothing him as if the boy was his own.
Andrea Byrd was a passenger who saw this all happen. She said, “It was so uplifting.” She posted a photo of the man carrying the baby up and down the aisle. It has gone viral and has been shared over 100,000 times.

“I was in tears,” Byrd wrote, “Not because he was white, and she was black… but because it showed me today that there are still good people out there in a world full of turmoil.” Whether we are liberating masses from oppression, like what occurred in WWII, doing something simple like taking care of a toddler, or anything in between, we can all do something responsible.

Find your issue, see the problems which you can help address around you. Choose to do your part to respond to the need–to be Response-able for a better future for us all.