All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Friday, June 22, 2018

Man's inhumanity to man: Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse!

From Wikipedia:

The phrase "Man's inhumanity to man" is first documented in the Robert Burns poem called Man was made to mourn: A Dirge in 1784. It is possible that Burns reworded a similar quote from Samuel von Pufendorf who in 1673 wrote, "More inhumanity has been done by man himself than any other of nature's causes."

It’s all I can think about these days, as our beloved nation swirls in the shameless cesspool of immigration issues that include mistreatment, tearing families apart, and locking up little kids.

I’m old enough to remember the holocaust, and I’m old enough to remember the Japanese internment camps of World War Two.

Besides that, I deal with man’s inhumanity to man every day. Our team sees it regularly as we work with Michigan inmates in the state prison system. Stories come to our office daily from prisoners who are sick or injured, who are mentally ill, who struggle with gender identity, who are gay, or who have been convicted of unusually brutal or heinous crimes. And our prisons are not the exception. It happens in every state’s prison system. It happens in the federal prisons. It happens in our county jails. It’s inseparable: Where there is incarceration, there is man’s inhumanity to man.

Today’s question is: What are we going to do about all of this?

Certainly, we can and will and must pray.

But that’s not enough. We must speak up! We’re going to have to muster the courage to contact elected officials and express our opinions in voices that are loud and clear. And we must not stop there. We must go to the polls at election time, and we must cast ballots for those people of integrity whom we believe can and will bring about change, regardless of political party.

Members of the HFP team preach this all the time when it comes to prison reform, sentence reform, and mass incarceration.

Now it’s time to speak up against all inhumane treatment.

Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, –
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
Robert Burns

Which prompts me to conclude with one more quote:

“There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man.”
― Alan Paton

May God help us to do just that, one person at a time, starting now!