LT / In the dark of Night

12:00:00 AM

I had my first philosophy class when I was a college junior, and my professor was John Carlo Uy. He made us read Martin Heideger, Emmanuel Levinas, and my favorite, Gabriel Marcel. His teaching style was something that worked well for me - he made us devour readings left and right, but he didn't quiz us on insignificant, minute details. Rather, he challenged us to truly reflect, to philosophize, on what we read.
Left me broken.
(image from the internet)
One of the titles we were made to read was Elie Wiesel's Night. I can't remember whose philosophy it was we were discussing, but the book was meant to complement it. All the copies in the Rizal Library were checked out (by my own classmates, no doubt), so I borrowed my friend Miko's copy.

The book broke me the same way Anne Frank's diary did - or maybe even worse. I cried for a few solid hours as I tried to wrap my head around the cruelty of the Holocaust. I couldn't understand how God and mankind alike chose to remain silent, to do nothing, in the face of such horror.

I will never understand man's inhumanity to man, nor do I think I am meant to. Rather, I should never be silent in the face of intolerance, for there is always something that one man can do. In the words of Wiesel, himself, we must always take sides, for silence always helps the oppressor, never the oppressed.

In my humble opinion, everyone should read this book, for if we forget history, then we are bound to repeat it. The book kept me awake, tossing and turning in bed, for a good few nights after reading it. I don't have the heart to re-read it, honestly. Not that I actually need to, for it is seared in my memory forever.


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