“Arghhh, the light!”- Dracula and the bat from the movie “Rio”
The anti thesis of darkness could perhaps be termed light at the risk of ignoring all the shades of grey in between. I am a fan of dark themes. I enjoyed batman, loved dark shadows and am continuously intrigued by the human mind and all the good, the bad and the ugly that it is capable of and in those moments I try and learn as much as possible by reading the works of authors on various topics surrounding the human mind.
As to the topic of light, I think I have spoken enough about the topics of LBC’s in relation to life’s experiences. Today the first name that came into my mind when I heard the topic was that of Kurt Gerstein, a rogue officer of the infamous SS who turned on Hitler and his regime simply because he found within himself, an unrelenting thirst to do what is right and he died in the guilt of not doing enough.
Kurt’s decision to intervene against the Nazi regime’s genocidal schemes came from the abrupt disappearance of his own sister-in-law who was undergoing treatment for certain mental health issues, possibly as a victim of Hitler’s plans to be rid of “wierd” people. I welcomed a sister-in-law to my own home recently and am continuously overwhelmed by her voluntary assumption of the role of a sister and care for her as such, immensely. It is perhaps in that context that I somewhere sympathize with the pain Kurt must have felt at the sudden disappearance of his sister in law. As he pursued one dangerous action after another to expose Hitler in the hope of the world’s intervention to prevent one of the most monumental human tragedies, his moment of glory came when he ordered the burial of several containers of poisonous gas on the strength of a false assessment of quality deficiencies, knowing fully well he could die if his treason to the regime was discovered. As is the case with most heroes, his life ended in tragedy when he was placed in French Custody. He chose to remain silent about his exploits out of a sense of responsibility in the tragedy that Hitler brought about, by not being able to help more people. He died in prison. Suicide they say, brought about by enormous guilt; guilt which he did not deserve.
In any such scenarios, people placed in a position of strength can choose to protect or exploit and when I come across cases involving the latter, I wonder if human beings are capable of any better. Yet those stories of men in power such as Kurt Gerstein, who chose to protect values and people inspire in me much confidence about the fine actions men are capable of.
In recent times, a relative on one side did phenomenally well in his 12th grade exams leaving me justifiably proud of the boy’s progress and achievement. When, out of an inability to contain our excitement, my mother happened to share it with a relative on the other side of the family, it was just met with a stoic grunt which perhaps was the voice of a green eyed monster. What this taught me was that deriving joy from another person’s success has to be earned and not everyone deserves that joy. Yet, if only one could feel that joy of being inter connected where another’s joy and sorrows can be felt within us, the quality of life just goes somewhere special.
I often hear sorry excuses of people claiming shelter for wrongful acts, under the argument that everyone else does it. Yet, the sad reality is that placed in a spot where such persons had to make a choice, they chose to make the wrong one and then blamed others of like scruples for it. It is an effort to stand up and challenge wrong when one is alone. Yet the decision to embrace the light within us, can at best lead to momentary discomfort. However in the long run this leads to a healthy doze of self esteem and happiness which nothing else can provide. So my advise, embrace the light, it may just prove to be the best thing that you did for yourself!
For the take of other LBC members on the same topic, please visit the links below