From Jeff Greenfield: "I once asked Elie Wiesel "Are you an optimist or a pessimist?" "An optimist," he said. "I have to be.
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silent encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
Our backyard looked like a marketplace. Valuable objects, precious rugs, silver candlesticks, Bibles and other ritual objects were strewn over the dusty grounds- pitiful relics that seemed never to have had a home. All this under a magnificent blue sky.
This day I ceased to plead. I was no longer capable of lamentation. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused.
Years ago, a member of Congress slipped a laminated quote into my hand that he must have thought I would find meaningful. I paid little attention at first and unfortunately I don’t recall just who gave me the quote. I placed it next to my voting card and have carried it ever since. The quote came from Elie Wiesel’s book One Generation After. The quote was entitled “Why I Protest.”Author Elie Wiesel tells the story of the one righteous man of Sodom, who walked the streets protesting against the injustice of this city. People made fun of him, derided him. Finally, a young person asked: “Why do you continue your protest against evil; can’t you see no one is paying attention to you?” He answered, “I’ll tell you why I continue. In the beginning, I thought I would change people. Today, I know I cannot. Yet, if I continue my protest, at least I will prevent others from changing me.” I’m not that pessimistic that we can’t change people’s beliefs or that people will not respond to the message of liberty and peace. But we must always be on guard not to let others change us once we gain the confidence that we are on the right track in the search for truth.
We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything--death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth.
The stars were only sparks of the fire which devoured us. Should that fire die out one day, there would be nothing left in the sky but dead stars, dead eyes.
Man asks and God replies but we don't understand his replies because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die.
What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It’s close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically.
Elie Wiesel says that neutrality only helps the oppressor, never the victim. And I think you can apply that to journalism.