Quote of the Day: Jonathan Schell on the Fate of the Earth

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Photo credit: Gare and Kitty
At present most of us do nothing. We look away. We remain calm. We are silent. We take refuge in the hope that the holocaust won’t happen, and turn back to our individual concerns. We deny the truth that is all around us. Indifferent to the future of our kind, we grow indifferent to one another. We drift apart. We grow cold. We drowse our way to the end of the world. But if once we shook off our lethargy and fatigue and began to act, the climate would change. Just as inertia produces despair—a despair often so deep it does not know itself as despair—arousal and action would give us access to hope, and life would start to mend: not just life in its entirety but daily life, every individual life. At that point we would begin to withdraw from our role as both the victims and the perpetrators. …

We would no longer be the destroyers of mankind, but rather, a gateway through which the future generations would enter the world. Then the passion and will that we need to save ourselves would flood into our lives. The walls of indifference, inertia, and coldness that now isolate each of us from others, and all of us from the past and future generations, would melt, like snow in spring. …"

—Jonathan Schell, The Fate of the Earth

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