After watching Spielburg’s Schindler’s list I felt and thought so many things. I felt sorrow for the millions who lost their lives in the hands of others. How can it be that the differences of others can determine whether they live or die? How can we learn from the acts of Schindler?
My grandmother lived in Germany during the Nazi regime. It’s striking to think that I might not be here today if she were not German. I thought of this while watching the end showing all the descendants of the Schindler Jews. That is an achievement that results from doing what he knew was right, while risking his life. It was moving when Schindler regretted that he didn’t help more people. He is recognized for his selfless acts, and understandably could not save everyone.
When I watch movies about this horrible time I can’t help but feel a personal connection to what happened. I look at my grandmother and see a strength that I will probably never have in my lifetime. While she was not subject to the treatment of the Jews, she was a product of living in that world of terror. Just like Schindler, she was affected by the war. She talked with me about this time in her life. Much like everyone else, I’m sure she wants to put it behind her. Regardless, you are defined by the experiences of life.
I know that she witnessed things that she might never speak of. It’s painful to watch her remember them because I can feel the pain. If you can help just one person to not have to wear the burden of that then you’re working toward peace.
Today millions of people are enduring similar pain in various parts of the world. This continues to grow, and while not Nazi Germany, people’s lives are being taken from them and destroyed at the expense of greed and hatred.
Schindler was able to help the Jews in the way he did because he was wealthy and powerful. There were situations where he might’ve been shut down if he didn’t have friends in high places. This is unfortunate but true still today. With money and power, great things can be achieved. Fortunately Schindler was a good hearted man that chose to help people. There might be more people like him than ever now, but with many evil people comes many problems.
I was not born in a war torn country. I am not suffering. I am not rich, or powerful. I am grateful to have many opportunities in my life. I am grateful to be alive. Is it just luck? Or is there a greater power out there that is in control of the hand each person is dealt. I believe so. God provides us with guidance. No matter what we’re born into we have the opportunity to find God and help others, and that is the sole purpose of our life here. I am starting to awaken to this purpose and feel that my life won’t be complete without following the examples of people like Oscar Schindler.