By Vivek da Silva
What type of a world are we leaving for our children and our children’s children? “Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others. Since the world has been given to us, we can no longer view reality in a purely utilitarian way, in which efficiency and productivity are entirely geared to our individual benefit. Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.” (Laudato Si, 159) We have to ask ourselves how we are shaping the world we live in. We have to question whether our choices are adding to the growing cries of the poor and the earth. We cannot be bystanders and do nothing. Doing nothing is no longer an option.
Doing nothing makes us complicit to the crime that is being perpetrated. We meet “bystanders” all through the passion narrative … they stood around while the disciples untied the colt (Mk 11:5), they stood around the fire in Caiaphas’ courtyard (Mk 14:69,70), and they stood around the cross (Mk 15:35). Am I one of those apathetic bystanders?
I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world. Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander. (Yehuda Bauer)