Monday, 12 January 2015

All that is necessary for evil to flourish

This phrase is one I have heard so many times, in so many places; when I tried to look up its origin, there are so many different versions of it that it's hard to place it.
And no wonder why - it is a phrase with so many different interpretations.

If we first of all look to the horror of the awful incidents in Paris, where so many innocent people, going about their ordinary day, found themselves cruelly targeted by cowards (to call them terrorists is too good for them). There were examples of good people not doing nothing and trying to stop the deaths, but in the face, literally, of semi-automatic weapons in the hands of trained people, there is not a lot anyone could have done.

But terrorism spreads, like a disease, when people fear others because they are different. When tolerance is lost, we put our barriers up and look to fight.

Whilst it is still early days, the three people who felt they needed to take up arms and kill cartoonists and shoppers in a supermarket did so because they felt they did not belong in the society where they grew up. And that is at least in part because people turned their backs on them. That is no excuse for what they did and they were turned into killers by cold, manipulative terrorists, who seek to stop our way of being, who feel that our lifestyles are offensive to their God. But if they had people they called friends in their society, would they, could they, have turned their guns on people who looked like their neighbours, their friends?

All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

And of course, there's our response - do we say that, because it happened in France, that it is of no concern of ours? The news is full of the increased risk of similar attacks now in our country, and in every western country. There are, apparently, dozens, if not hundreds, of people in this country alone who feel isolated, excluded, left out, to the pitch where they look elsewhere to be made to feel welcomed, to feel at home. And then they find those people turn them, twist them, and send them back to cause havoc and fear.

Why? Our society is one of the most unequal in the world, with a larger gap between those who 'have' and those who 'have not' wider than almost anywhere.

In our compassionate society, where the principles of looking after those who need help are enshrined in law, it is our duty to not do nothing. Because people need our help.

Bur sometimes fear drives us to do nothing. Sometimes, we turn our back because we don’t want to get involved, or because we don’t want the bother.

All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

But what about closer to home? Here in school? All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

As a school we believe, with a passion, that each and every one of you is important, equally and has a huge potential inside of you and that it is our duty to help you realise this and release your potential. Doing nothing is not an option to the staff who work here, because they all believe that it is an important thing, the most important thing, we do. And they most certainly do not do nothing. . .

What about you? I've spoken time and time again about the importance of you being on board, on the journey. Part of the solution. . .

When we work together, as a community, we help and support each other to be bigger, stronger, better than we ever could be on our own.

And yet time and time again, things go wrong. People fall out. Fights happen. And no-one wants to get involved. Because of the outdated feeling that 'we don't tell'. 'No-one likes a grass'.

It's actually so alien to me, that idea. If there is someone who is making another person's life miserable, and you know it, but don't tell someone? How is that, in any frame of reference, a good idea? It is, in fact, the living example of the phrase I've been quoting:

All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

But being a grass is seen as a bad thing. How about I re-phrase it in another light: Telling someone about something wrong is a moral duty - it is helping to make the world a better place, make the school a safer place. It is rooting out 'evil' & turning the spotlight on it.

Maybe, just maybe, in Paris, if a neighbour or someone had said something about the men who felt they could stop free speech by killing cartoonists, then maybe those men and women, those fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, other people's children would still be alive today, getting on with their lives, maybe sitting having a coffee, planning a treat or holiday.

All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

When you think twice about doing something or saying something when you see something bad going on, think again and do the brave thing, the moral thing, the right thing & make a difference

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