The North Star of Our Native Mortal Compass

 

This week at the Chautauqua Institution I have plenty of sources for discussion. But let me begin with the words of Maria Popova:

“’Under conditions of terror,’ Hannah Arendt wrote in her classic treatise on the normalization of evil, ‘most people will comply but some people will not… No more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation.’ Under such conditions, counting ourselves among the few who refuse to comply has less to do with whether we believe ourselves to be good than it does with the deliberate protections we must place between unrelenting evil and our own sanity and goodness, for among the most insaning aspects of tyrannical regimes is the Stockholm syndrome of the psyche they inflict upon us — upon ordinary people, not-evil people, people who consider themselves decent and good, but who slowly, through a cascade of countless small concessions, lose sight of the North Star of their native moral compass.”

In today’s troubling times, I worry for my children, my grandchildren, and even myself. God gives each of us that native moral compass called a conscience, but that conscience is under constant attack by those who would ask in the name of “getting along,” “compromise,” or “it won’t make a difference” encourage us to turn a deaf ear to conscience.

Pay attention to the small attacks on conscience. The path to tyranny begins with small steps not giant leaps.

 

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at webbhubbell.com. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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