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  • Writer's pictureKarl Koerber

Venturing, with a degree of trepidation, into the blogosphere

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

"We must in strength and humility meet hate with love."

I thought I would use those words by Martin Luther King, which I included in the last paragraph of my book, as the stepping-off point for my foray into the blogging world, however that might manifest over time. I believe Dr. King’s exhortation—to combat hate with love—hits to the heart of our hope to build a better world.

As I researched and wrote about the Nazi era I often peered into the dark side of human motivation—the hate, cruelty, vengefulness, lust for power—that seemed to impel Hitler and his cohorts in their mission to craft a powerful and racially ‘pure’ German state. While the Nazis, the Holocaust and the war that left 60 million dead have now all passed into history, the misanthropic impulses that give rise to conflict and oppression remain all too real in the present. War, racism, sexism, homophobia—we see these manifestations of fear and hatred daily on our screens, to the point where we have become desensitized to the ongoing suffering endured by millions of our fellow humans.

Like any thoughtful person, I struggle to make sense of the human drama, to understand what lies behind the impulse to dominate and inflict suffering upon others. The spectrum of human sensibility and character, from utter depravity to inspirational courage and selflessness, is a confounding puzzle that defies solution. Why are some individuals hateful and aggressive while others are caring and benevolent? Are compassion and empathy intrinsic traits, like eye color, carried by some and not by others? Are they learned behaviors, passed on by family and community? Or is love—the wellspring of these cherished human values—a universal absolute that blossoms in those who are somehow predisposed to receive it, like the proverbial seed that falls on fertile soil?

Questions such as these have occupied my thoughts over the years as I seek some meaningful context within which to place the seemingly irreconcilable facets of the human psyche: love/hate, generosity/greed, cooperation/aggression, and so on. I’m intrigued by the interplay of the personal, political and spiritual dimensions of the human experience and the evolution of consciousness and values over time, and I hope to use this blog as a space where I continue to explore some of these issues and ideas. I don’t expect to solve the world’s problems here, but I hope I can articulate a certain perspective that might contribute, in some small way, to the dialogue around promoting harmonious relations and a peaceful world.

That perspective is conditioned in many ways by the visionaries—Dr. King, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela among them—whose message resonates deeply with me. Empathy, compassion, forgiveness and reconciliation are the weapons they urge us to employ in the effort to bring an end to oppression and conflict. The world population is creeping up toward 8 billion, with nativist and isolationist doctrine once more on the rise. Now, more than ever, finding common ground with our fellow planetary citizens is of the essence. Expressions of inclusion, kindness and generosity of spirit are needed to counter the voices of fear, division and xenophobia pushing their way ever louder into public and political discourse.

So, for what it’s worth, this is where I’ll throw my two-bits into the conversation, from time to time, for whoever might be interested. Any (respectful) comments are welcome and I’d like nothing better than to get some good discussions going. Stay tuned.

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Mar 05, 2019

Thanks Herb and/or Susie! I would like that.


Mar 04, 2019

Beautiful writing, Karl. I look forward to reading more and, as I reflect on what you've written, I'll try to add something meaningful.

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