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ONE FOR ALL: A Note from Jackson Block

Posted on 11/15/2011 @ 02:12 PM

"Hate" is a complicated word. At a first glance, the short word might look easy to comprehend; however, when describing it, it continues to stump me. As I walked through Holocaust memorial near the Freedom Trail, questions about this four letter word popped into my head. How could a simple word skew someone's mindset? How could anyone "hate" someone so much to kill them? How could anyone kill another person? I was completely baffled.

As I reflect as I write this blog, I still am baffled and will be for awhile, but that is why I am at the "One For All" Summit. I am here at the Summit to build a community, to equip myself with the resources to speak up! against indifference and inequality, and to reflect on the big picture. All aspects, which I feel are captured in the below quote, play a pivotal role in life and the program. "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me" (Martin Niemöller). At first, I believed the quote conveyed a moral lesson that everyone should learn: if you stay indifferent when others need you, then others will not be at your side when you need them. While I continue to believe in this axiom, the asterik underneath the quote at the memorial site brought me to the question of hatred and people. The tiny asterisk revealed the history behind the author, Martin Niemöller. The asterisk with few lines of writing explained that In the early start of the Nazi totalitarian regime, he was an anti-Communist and supported Hitler's rise to power. The idea shocked me completely and caused for a internal as well as external dialogue.

In my mind, I asked my questions about killing, hate, and the Holocaust. Meanwhile at the same time, I talked to my best friend from New Orleans about the predicament. She insightfully told me to think about the situation through another perspective in which the author changed. As soon as she brought up the idea, my mind began rushing. I began to focus on the power of people to transform as we talked while crossing the street. Soon, I realized that with new insight and an alternative perspective, "hate" could easily be changed to "love" or to being "nice." While the shift sounds weird out loud, the premise behind the belief is clearly possible. Hate, which most often originates with ignorance, can be changed through education. We, as 80+ teens from across North America, have not only seen that but also know it as a fact. A fact, in which, we, teens of the summit, have been working for in the past two days and will continue on for a lifetime. Fraternally submitted with undying love for "One for All", the Aleph Zadik Aleph, Rodney Dangerfield AZA #2516, and RESPECT I remain, Aleph Jason "Jackson" Jorel Block Valencia, CA

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