When kids learn history, they, in a lot of cases, can't believe some of the awful things that people have done to each other. In some ways, civilization has made great progress toward achieving equal rights and opportunity for all. There is obviously a long way to go with no easy path available to get there.
How much do i wash my hands of the injustice that i see? How much do i ignore, allow, or take part in the ugliness of the world? Atticus Finch seems like a pretty good role model for a life well-lived in this regard. In the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird, he gave this advise to his daughter:
"If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."In the final courtroom scene, he reminded the jurors of their duty by saying:
"Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system - that's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality!"Do we hold ourselves and the people we interact with to that standard? It isn't working if we are.
Bruce Springsteen's take on John Steinbeck's Tom Joad:
Now Tom said: "Mom, wherever there's a cop beating a guy, wherever a hungry newborn baby cries, where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air, look for me, Mom, I'll be there. Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand or a decent job or a helpin' hand, wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free, look in their eyes, Mom, you'll see me".An awesome video take on Rage Against the Machine's take on Bruce Springsteen.
Springsteen's own version of himself with guest Tom Morello of Rage.
Chicago's Rise Against