Monday, January 28, 2008

Words of Wisdom

I have recently watched the movie Bobby by Emilio Esteves.

Looking at youtube I have found the last five minutes
of the movie, where the
Robert Kennedy speech of April, 5th, 1968 can be heard.

They are words of wisdom, but without enough listeners.

I do quote here some of those words.

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

Robert F Kennedy
On the Mindless Menace of Violence
City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968


Anonymous said...

I am a colombian teacher, as you know we have suffered a terrible internal conflict. Many people have died but still it seems we do not realize the magnitude of the confrontation. It was nice to find this page I was not looking for. I will send this message of peace to my friends and I will also share it with my students. Peace for the entire world. MarĂ­a Elena

julio cesar sampaio do prado leite said...

Muchas gracias.