There Is No Easy Solution

It takes about 6 full days of walking to go from Cairo to Jerusalem, yet the book of Exodus talks about forty years in the desert. That means someone in the early teens reaches the promised land in middle age. Forty years can easily mean a generation, illustrating perhaps what it takes for a society's deliverance. There is apparently no shortcut. Fast forward to the twenty first century, forty years seem too short as we continue to display horrors of the past without any remorse, only with pride and a misguided certitude. "Arbeit macht frei" (Work brings freedom), the slogan for Camp Auschwitz adorns the shirts of an individual referred to as one of the "patriots" and "wonderful people" by President Donald Trump. 

Above copied from

"It's just a great honor to have this kind of crowd and to be before you and hundreds of thousands of American patriots who are committed to the honesty of our elections and the integrity of our glorious Republic." This is how President Donald Trump describes the crowd before the storming of the Capitol. 

We are in the midst of a pandemic that has likewise gained more fuel with misinformation. But why are so many misinformed? Jillian Kramer at the National Geographic enumerates the reasons:

  • The allure of conspiracies in a chaotic world

  • Collective narcissism

  • Follow the leader

We like simplistic views since the world is too complicated. The beliefs we hold dear can sometimes bring us identity and a sense of importance. And of course, there are influential people who can lead us astray. 

Once the misinformation becomes a belief, it is almost permanent for it is human nature not to change one's mind, not to admit that one is wrong. So we probably should not wonder why the Israelites of biblical times took forty years. Four scores have already passed yet we still do not recognize the hatred and racism right before us. I can only hope for the next generation.