When he came back, I asked, “What did you learn?” He said, “I learned one thing, dad. You know, on mom’s side, we’re Armenian and that part of our family suffered a genocide. On your side, we’re Jewish and that part of the family also suffered a genocide. But I didn’t really grasp it deeply until I went there. Now what has hit me is that to kill massive numbers of innocent people you first have to dehumanize them, and we can no longer afford to dehumanize anybody on the planet earth. Whatever political system is operating in any country what is most important is whether its policy makers exercise compassion.”
I said, “Son, I am now your colleague. I’m not your teacher. I have not come much farther than this insight and I am still learning about it. We can learn together. ”
Sixteen years later, and I am still learning about it. I believe that this understanding is a point of reference from which we can all learn and serve together.
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