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Anger is not the Answer

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Credit : Liang Zhao*
Immediately after the visit to the Holocaust museum, we all sat together and shared the feelings we all thought we would have so much trouble expressing. It was clear to all of us during our group discussion that tolerance is the only answer; so why does it sometimes seem so rare to come by?

Our visit made it obvious that there is hatred in every corner of the world. But we cannot let that be a reason to lose hope. Instead, let us promise ourselves great, enormous, never-ending patience. Terrors like the Holocaust can teach great lessons if we have the courage to recognize that great atrocities were performed by ordinary humans onto other humans because their ideas had been allowed to seethe beyond the realms of tolerance, humaneness and good sense. The perpetrators and their accomplices were looking for others to blame, or were seeking power, while the bystanders were too afraid to stand up for the victims or for the truth.

The Holocaust museum did not make me angry. It made me incredibly sad and doubtful, but I would not allow it to make me angry. Anger and blame are the roots of so many problems. Even when they seem warranted, it is best to transform the anger into a desire to make a positive difference in the world.

The trip got me to see first-hand that all the great religions can preach love and the highest standards of behavior for their followers. Whether we follow a religion or not, shouldn't this be common to every human? I think so. Again, we must not let superiority of religion or intellect or anything else determine who is better than whom, or more deserving. After all, the point is peace on earth, not peace for one religion or sect or group.

It would be wonderful if everybody tolerated everybody else, and nobody abused anybody or anything. Respect and tolerance are born out of wonder for the world, for when a person has wonder for things, they become sacred. And people do not abuse what they find sacred.

This trip brought people from different backgrounds together to experience each other in a new light. We learned together, we prayed together and we cried together.



Alan Yancovitch graduated from Vanier College in June 2004 and now studies physiology at McGill University in Montreal.


* Alan Yancovitch shares a lighter moment during debriefing with Melanie Yeh.


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