Sunday, February 05, 2012

Does good really win?

I’ve encountered this question a few times this week. Does the good really win?

Looking around at the world today, it might seem naive or just plain foolish to believe that the good ever wins. Evil does seem to prosper, and often it’s truly because good men do nothing.

But wait a minute. Haven’t you noticed that evil very often flaunts itself? “Look at me, notice me,” it seems to say—perhaps to trick us into thinking that it’s more prosperous than it actually is.

In contrast, an essentially good action or person is often quiet, discreet, modest, and humble.

Which is perhaps why it’s so easy to forget that good exists, and why, when good wins—as it very often does—we so easily miss it.

I was just reminded of this principle today when I watched this documentary on Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse who, with the help of friends, rescued thousands of Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.

She was a women of tremendous courage but also of amazing humility.

“I have many faults,” Irena says at one point during the film, “but one thing I can say about myself is that I’m very organized.”

The atrocities of the Holocaust were staggering and unspeakable. But all the children Irena rescued survived the war, and many of them are still alive today to tell the tale. Irena herself was imprisoned but miraculously saved from execution and set free to live a long life and marry the man she loved. She died peacefully in bed at the age of 98.

Near the end of the film, William Donat, one of the rescued children, is shown returning to Poland to find Magda Rusinek, one of Irena’s friends who smuggled him out of the ghetto. Reunited, they embrace. They are in tears. But, “It’s all right,” says Magda. “It’s going to be alright.”

“Everything is alright,” says William.

So does good win? I believe it does—every time.


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