For those of you too young to know, Simon Wiesenthal was an Austrian-Jewish architectural engineer until the advent of Hitler. He survived three death camps in a four year period and became a world renowned, or reviled depending on your sympathies, Nazi hunter.
Wiesenthal’s words may have their roots in the Holocaust, but they apply equally well to today’s geopolitical situation, as well as more mundane stuff like work. You might think I’m exaggerating, but if you tone down the power of his words you’ll find a reflection of the office bully; the pointy haired manager; and other situations you face on a daily basis.
If you know from history the danger, then part of the danger is over because it may not take you by surprise as it did your ancestors.
Ancestors aside, tracking the historical actions of the people in your world protects you from being taken unaware.
Violence is like a weed – it does not die even in the greatest drought.
There are many kinds of violence and not all of them involve bodily harm; psyches are gossamer; abuse exists in many contexts.
What connects two thousand years of genocide? Too much power in too few hands.
Think this doesn’t apply to business? Think of the lives destroyed by Enron, the banking crisis, Bernard Madoff—there are many kinds of death and the destruction of dreams and hope is a type that often goes unacknowledged.
For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.
True since time began, but good men and women often do nothing in and out of the business world.
Technology without hatred can be a blessing. Technology with hatred is always a disaster.
Technology covers a great deal of ground; in itself it is benign, but, like a car, it can maim and kill when mixed with anger, fear, hate or carelessness.
Freedom is not a gift of heaven, you have to fight for it every day,
Your personal fight is against whatever enslaves or endangers you, no matter the source. Just be sure in fighting that you don’t inflict the same damage on your foes.
Humour is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people who are oppressed to smile at the situation that pains them.
And it is humor that wreaks the most havoc on your foes in the business world.
Human rights is the only ideology that deserves to survive,
Ideology has cost our world its peace, prosperity and maybe its future. Ideology eliminates rationality; I honestly believe that the minute people start thinking ‘yours is wrong, mine is right’ the trouble begins—and usually escalates.
Image credit: Liz Henry on flickr