In Yiddish, “Mensch” litteraly means man.
But as my grand mother used to say ” all Mensch are men, but not all men are Mensch “.
Because a Mensch (with a Capital Letter) means more: it qualifies a person of integrity and honour, someone of noble character, to emulate and admire. Someone who does good, who always strives to be a better person without expectation of return. A noble heart and soul. Like Elie Wiesel was.
The web will feed you with everything you need to know about Elie Wiesel today especially, the day he ceased to exist on our planet. He has and always will be a father figure to me, and instead of giving you another bio, I’d like to reflect on his legacy. People will walk in and out of our life but the ones who really matter will leave their footprints.
Doubt is the antidote to totalitarianism, dictatorship and all the other obscurantisms. We have a duty to question, and to me Wiesel’s words should be shouted out on every radio station, on every apps, in every political debate. See where the UK is standing now, with people who would rather buy any given ‘truth’ than daring doubting it.
See where the US risk to be if American were not to question Trump’s program.
Questioning should be compulsory, there is no universal truth and that’s what makes life so interesting: question the given truth, as yourself “why should it be so?” more often. I made mine this quote from Bernard Shawn “Some people see life as it is and they wonder why. I dream of things that never were and say why not?’.
And imagine all the alternative options. I can’t think of anything worse than accepting a fate, not questioning it. True, doubting is not the most comfortable state. But it is the only one that will make us grow as responsible human beings. The religions that are taking our world head over feet are the ones who are refusing the slightest doubt. The politicians who are ruining their countries are the ones who are refusing the tiniest questioning. Aren’t your worse bosses the ones who would never accept they could potentially be wrong? How did you feel when your parents imposed you a truth you felt totally wrong and unfair?
Don’t be a passive bystander. Stand up for what you believe in
I am living by those words, they are engraved in my DNA.
I guess they guided my humanitarian engagement in all those years with the Red Cross. My husband thought it would all smoothen when I’d stop living the aid worker’s life. But no. They are tatooed in my soul. How can you live a happy life ignoring the fate of so much suffering around you? There is always a little tiny something you can do. Take side, advocate. See the face behind the logo. When I hear Gay, I see so many of my friends. When I hear refugee I see my grand parents and so many of my aunts and “old” uncles. When I hear Islam I remember all the beautiful souls I met when I was deployed in Sudan and in Niger. Remember how privileged you are to have a voice that matters. Be loud, stand strong for what you believe in. You don’t only do it for a victim. “Those who kept silence yesterday will remain silent tomorrow” said E. Wiesel. Reflect on this quote. Do it now, for a better world for our children. For the sake of humanity, let’s raise them with an open heart and mind. It is in our voice, in our hands, to make a difference.
Forgive but don’t forget
This last sentence has the heaviest meaning to me. I always see families as trees, with strong roots and branches. How can we stand strong without solid roots? It comes the same with our societies. How can you figure where you are heading when you are denying your roots? Our past, somehow, will always determine our future. Call it kharma, DNA, uterine memory, family constellation psychology …We must know, we must acknowledge, we must honour and respect. So we can move on, strong and confident towards a better future.
Again, my 2 cents.
Today Elie Wiesel’s soul has left our planet. But Mensch never die. They just pass on the torch.