Heroes of the Human Spirit: Confronting Terror and Indifference

Historians, journalists, and scholars who have reported on and studied mass killings of citizens in their own countries have dubbed the years of the late twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century as the “Age of Genocide.” An estimated 170 million men, women, and children have been murdered by their own governments, the victims of state-sponsored terrorism.

That is why we cherish those few men and women who have looked upon all people as their equals and who have placed their own lives in danger in order to tell the world of inhumanity and great suffering. These heroes have rescued thousands of lives in danger of extinction because it was “the right thing to do.”

Is this willingness to assume such risk part of our fundamental human nature and the opposite side of evil? Why act for good when it is easier and safer to look aside or even to kill for an ideal that is capable of eliminating “other” human beings who may not even be seen as human?

The profiles of the following “heroes of the human spirit” teach us that we can each make a difference.