Pride and Hunger Make Poor Companions

When things get tough, we get desperate and are willing to do things to survive, taking on the most grotesque parts of what it means to be human.

While pondering this thought and how it relates to current world circumstances of having to function outside of pride and principles in order to keep pace, I was reminded of a passage I’d read in Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning – a book that records his experiences in Nazi extermination camps in WW2.

In it, he describes the desperation of the human condition in the context of the most unimaginable suffering, and what lengths fellow Jewish prisoners would sometimes go to stave off death just a little bit longer.

The Capo were Jewish prisoners who had been offered something so small as an extra share of bread and cigarettes, and in exchange, the Nazi SS put them in charge of the camp work details, torture rooms, prisoner intakes, and carrying out the genocide of their own people.

The most terrifying aspect of this is that these Capo men and women’s actions are not only understandable but may even shake the very grounds of morality itself as the argument can be made that horrible acts, no matter how vial, are still ultimately human.

If you find yourself at odds with your principles, take heart in knowing how much worse it could be and love the circumstances for what they are, for they could be FAR worse.

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