Elie Wiesel Notes The Opposite of Love Is Indifference


SEATTLE — Life is busy. Life is chaotic. Life is messy. What is out of sight is out of mind, good or bad, and the opposite of love is indifference.

Throughout history, extraordinary men and women have reminded humanity of the importance of human rights issues or certain aspects of life. These extraordinary individuals enlighten the world, giving sight to those that were previously blind to the world’s heartache.

“It is equally important to fight indifference and the attitude that ‘it’s no concern of mine.'” Elie Wiesel saw the struggle against indifference as a struggle for peace. In his words, “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.”

As a Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, Elie Wiesel dedicated his life to ensuring that humanity would not forget the events under Nazi reign. More importantly, Wiesel wanted every state and international organization to work towards a world that would never stand for genocide again. Forcing every nation to understand- the opposite of love is indifference.

In order to breathe life into history books, Elie wrote his own books portraying his own experience during the Holocaust. Each book gave voice to those silenced and honored their memory, their existence and their passing.

His book, Night, placed the reader in the middle of the Holocaust at a concentration camp, or rather in Hell. With each page, the reader felt the chill of the night’s air. With each line, the reader heard the rumble of the malnourished stomach. With each word, the reader saw the fear in the eyes of the thousands who wondered if today would be their last day on earth.

Such portrayal, raw emotion and truth evoked feelings that were previously unknown to his readers.

Without choosing to experience history through a thought-provoking book such as Wiesel’s, history would solely be words on a page. Without any empathy for historical events, a reader understands and experiences the truth within Elie’s statement — “the opposite of love is indifference.”

The same can be said for international poverty in modern society — out of sight, out of mind. Without reading firsthand accounts of a child or woman facing society’s perils alone, statistics remain lifeless.

Does an image of an emaciated child have to be presented for our humanity to be awakened? As global citizens, humanity must take an active role and interest in society’s heartaches.

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings,” Elie Wiesel states.

Though the world faces challenges, many caused by humanity itself, it is up to humanity to provide the very light, it once darkened. In doing so, international populations must take a more active role in the world’s struggles by raising awareness, raising funds, and, most importantly, raising hope.

The opposite of love is indifference, so embrace empathy and make positive change.

Danielle Preskitt
Photo: Flickr


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