It boggles my mind how, as a people, as a civilization, we are taking so many steps backward instead of steps forward.
More people appear hungry than ever before despite so much knowledge and insight about agriculture, farming. Even a growing global network and a smaller world could result in programs where waste or surplus in one place can be efficiently transferred to a place of poverty. This is the case in our own country.
This is the case in my own city, where I see people eating out of garbage cans regularly.
But my post today isn’t about hunger. It’s about tolerance.
I read recently that anti-semitism was reportedly up by 30 percent in 2012 over the previous year, according to a study.
After so many examples from history– specifically, six million souls who perished as a result of a single man’s hatred. I’m dumbfounded how something like this can actually happen in our society.
I’m reminded of a simple photo I took while visiting Zakynthos last week doing research for a film.
Outside the Church of St. Dionysios the Wonderworker, there is a bust of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, the Greek Orthodox Christian archbishop during World War II who was instrumental in helping save the island’s Jews.
The bust was placed there by the Greek Jewish Community, now residing mostly in Israel. Ironically, the bust stands in front of the island’s most important church– simply called “O Agios” by the locals, or “the Saint”, whose windows were funded and installed by the descendants of the Zakynthos Jews who were saved during WWII.
One doesn’t need look too far, but in the simple lives of our ancestors, for love and tolerance for fellow man and a time and place when the same differences we share today– religion, culture, language– actually brought us closer– at least on the Greek Isle of Zakynthos.