Friday, May 25, 2007

A lesson from Karamazov

A heartbroken friend who has been badly used and coldly discarded by a silly girl, asks me over and over again, how someone can be so cruel as to not reply to any emails - all of them cries from the heart beseeching her to have mercy on him.

It is true that love is mercy; it is not a democracy.

I told him that the lesson I took from Brothers Karamazov was that the people we most despise are often our own victims, not as we always assume, the people who have injured us.

Dostoevsky's old man Karamazov hates with a particular venom one local man: once long ago he cheated and harmed this man, and now his victim is a living reminder to old Karamazov's of his bad character and repellent behaviour. And so this other man is a nuisance, pitiful and worthy of his hatred.

We should remember this when we wonder why the Israelis and the Burmese government and the Americans so despise their victims and only wish to eradicate them so they can once again have a 'clear conscience'.

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