Memory and Responsibility (11)
Although the evils of the past continue to haunt us in the present, society is often unable — or unwilling — to deal with historical injustice. Thus, although specific incidents of invasion, slavery, apartheid and genocide may appear to be receding into the irretrievable past, they are never altogether absent from humankind's collective memories. The function of collective Memory and Responsibility should promote healing, to set up patterns of behavior that constructively parse history to avoid future problems and to teach each other through mistakes as well as through well-meaning struggles towards justice and compassion. The intent is not to blame or punish the descendants of people who perpetuated misdeeds but to encourage people to reason together and strive for reconciliation.
Text: Douglas Schuler