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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Collective Kindness

Earlier this week during a discussion in one of my classes, a peer brought the following words to my attention: “Men are cruel, but Man is kind.” The concept seems simple enough of course. Collectively, men are often thought to be cruel and often times, it may seem that only individuals are truly kind. Over the course of this week, I’ve had time to contemplate that very notion and ponder its implications in this modern world. Of course, in a broad sense, those words are rather ambiguous but when I applied them to a specific situation, I did seem to understand what my peer meant when he stated “men are cruel.”
Indeed, several cases in Africa that have appeared in the recent news could most certainly lead me to that conclusion. As it has been reported, it seems that forty-four albinos in Tanzania have been slain because of the mistaken belief that albino body parts provide magical powers of some sort. Apparently, witch doctors market the body parts of albinos as ingredients in potions that promise to provide ultimate riches and as a result, nearly 10,000 albinos are in hiding. When I first heard of this occurrence in Africa, I was appalled and I was struck by the cruelty of men. It is because of these cruel men who hunt albinos that several are now being forced into hiding in fear that their limbs will be viciously hacked from their bodies. It is because of these men that a ten-year old albino child was beheaded and his family will never see him again. And it is because of these men that human beings fear that they are being hunted by their fellow human beings.
And being that in Africa, albinos are most certainly the light colored face easily spotted in the dark colored crowd, the fear of these albinos must encounter seems all the more intense. And really, a skin condition that is the result of the biological inheritance passed from both parents of an individual can’t be helped which makes this discrimination and cruelty all the more alarming. Just as alarming is the widespread belief in Zimbabwe that having sex with female albino will cure a man of HIV, which has resulted in a number of subsequent rapes.
Though it may be nearly impossible to live in a world where all men are kind and not cruel, recognizing the extent of the cruelty man imposes over his fellow man needs to happen. Somehow, this violence and injustice towards albinos needs to be recognized at an international level and awareness must be raised at once. Certainly, we cannot allow theses atrocious acts to continue. And certainly, we cannot allow the perpetuated mistaken beliefs and the lack of education, which condemns these albinos to go any further than it already has. And above all else, collectively, men should be kind. Individuals certainly are making great strides in this world with their kindness but it’s about time that humanity gets a little bit kinder. We should certainly model ourselves in the spirit of Albert Pike, in such a way that we “never forget that mankind constitutes one great brotherhood; all born to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound to sympathize with each other.” Only then can collective kindness be achieved.


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