I'm reading "Map Knowledge, A Thousand Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found." I am struck by the repeated destruction caused by fanatics. Books, art, scientific items all burned and smashed by the crazies of history.
There have been centers of great scholarship such as Athens, Bagdad, Cordoba and Toledo. Enormous effort was made to gather the great works of humanity and to refine and add to them. Then the fanatics came in time and time again and burned wide swaths of destruction. Fragments of some remain, a few were elsewhere and survived.
In recent history, we watched in horror as Hitler's minions burned piles of books. It is said that destroying books and eliminating points of view kill the soul of a culture. Fortunately, recent book burnings cannot really wipe out those ideas because with printing automated there are many copies. In previous centuries, when hand copying was the only method, many scrolls and books really were gone forever.
Today we see fanatics working to shut up other points of view. From dictators to college students, dialogue is attacked.
Let us learn from history and refuse to give fanatics power to destroy.
Divine Presence lead us to honor one another. Help us listen with compassionate ears and speak with kindness. Open us to quest for truth gently.
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