„Freedom, Equality, Fraternity”
This outcry blew through the rotten timberwork of Europe’s oldest monarchy like a storm and seemed to sweep away a century of despotism and injustice.
But how much blood was needed to meet that demand.
And how much more blood was needed to remove the worst excesses afterwards.
Doesn’t that seem strangely illogical? Like a bad stair joke of history? Not in my eyes.
At least not if you take a closer look at these words.
Because freedom and equality can never exist simultaneously. They can only lurk suspiciously in their corner and watch who wins the game. But only one of them can stand in the middle of society at a time.
Because where there is freedom, there will never be equality. And where everyone is equal, must be equal, there is no freedom anymore. But it is the worst despotism of all, the equality compulsion of the masses.
Today I want to talk about a strangely hopeless book.
Author Lois Lowry tells us of a world that at first glance seems like paradise on earth.
It is the story of a community that has overcome war. No more conflicts, no more hunger or strife.
A community in which all people seem to be happy with their daily work and contribute to the success of a harmonious society according to their own talents.
But to reach this state they once had to lose a part of their humanity. They first had to leave behind everything that makes life valuable in order to force people’s equality.
“Our ancestors made this decision, the decision for equality. We gained control of many things. But for that we had to do without others.”
Only one of them was chosen to remember. Or perhaps it should be said that the yoke of not forgetting ability was imposed on him.
It is the”Receiver of Memory” who not only preserves the entire history of mankind, but is forced to relive it again and again.
To keep all this away from people.
“There is much more. There is so much that goes beyond that, elsewhere too, and everything that happened before, a long, long time ago. I took in all this memory when I was chosen. And here in this room, all alone, I’ve lived through it over and over again. “This is the only way to attain wisdom.
But what happens when you lose your memory?
What happens when an entire culture loses its memory?
When people no longer feel fear, sorrow or joy?
Lois Lowry shows us her view of this world. And it’s scarier than I’ve ever imagined.
Because without our memories, we can’t learn.
Without memory, we are no longer able to feel profound and honest. We can’t love anymore. Or hate.
We lose our compassion and responsibility for this world.
And so beings arise, who become absolutely cruel and emotionally cold in their satisfaction. Who have no conscience anymore. And no real feelings.
And thereby be able to do everything you ask of them.
Without remorse or awareness of their guilt.
And that shook me to my core.
To see where a world can go that has forgotten its history.
And I asked myself whether it is possible to educate people in such a way that they are no longer aware of their inhumanity?
And I believe so!
Because when you have no more memories, no more songs or stories, then you no longer have a point of reference for your humanity.
And, as Lois Lowry shows us, that makes everything possible.