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Stupid Kindness and Humanism – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 8th, 2012 · No Comments · Humanism, Ideology, Philosophy, Religion

This senseless kindness is condemned in the fable about the pilgrim who warmed a snake in his bosom. It is the kindess that has mercy on a tarantula that has bitten a child. A mad, blind, kindness. People enjoy lookng in stories and fables for examples of the danger of this senseless kindness. But one shouldn’t be afraid of it. One might just as well be afraid of a freshwater fish carried out by chance into the salty ocean.

The harm from time to time occasioned a society, class, race or State by this senseless kindness fades away in the light that emanates from those who are endowed with it.

This kindness, this stupid kindness, is what is most truly human in a human being. It is what sets man apart, the highest achievement of his soul. No, it says, life is not evil!

This kindness is both senseless and wordless. It is instinctive, blind. When Christianity clothed it in the teachings of the Church Fathers, it began to fade; its kernel became a husk. It remains potent only while it is dumb and senseless, hidden in the living darkness of the human heart – before it becomes a tool or commodity in the hands of preachers, before its crude ore is forged into the gilt coins of holiness. It is as simple as life itself. Even the teachings of Jesus deprived it of its strength.

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