Real Wisdom

Sophie Scholl, 1921-43, executed in Munich for high treason

Sophie Scholl, 1921-43, executed in Munich for high treason

Today I came across this quote from Sophie Scholl, a woman I greatly admire for being part of the White Rose resistance to Hitler in WWII, executed in 1943 at the age of 21.     Especially with all the craziness in the world today, and all the mundane distractions in life, I think this is a very powerful, meaningful and profound quote.

Please read this.  Think about it.  Live it!

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.” – Sophie Scholl

  1. #1 by jrdreistadt on December 14, 2012 - 14:22

    Reblogged this on The Fruition Coalition and commented:
    So grateful to Scott Erb for sharing this…

  2. #2 by lifeasiknowitphotography on December 14, 2012 - 15:44

    Reblogged this on Life As I Know It Photography.

  3. #3 by lbwoodgate on December 14, 2012 - 15:46

    Very nice. Quite a bit of wisdom for such such a young woman. We need more like her today.

  4. #4 by elizjamison on December 15, 2012 - 10:27

    So true, and it reminds me of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” when he says (paraphrased) that his biggest disappointment is the “White Moderate” who sit back and don’t do anything. That always touched me the most. I think it is so hard to step out of a comfort zone and do something or say something that will make waves.

  5. #5 by GiRRL_Earth on December 17, 2012 - 17:20

    Wow! Powerful.

  6. #6 by GiRRL_Earth on December 17, 2012 - 21:47

    OMG Scott! I just finished watching on You Tube: Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (2005) and all I have to say is, “WOW!” again. Such a brave brave girl! Holy crap! I mean, to stand up for what she believed. To speak out against the to the Nazi Regime. To fight for what she believed in. To walk to her beheading with her head held high takes courage beyond my comprehension. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I had no idea and will reblog this on my site.

  7. #7 by GiRRL_Earth on December 17, 2012 - 21:58

    Reblogged this on GiRRL_Earth and commented:
    I just finished watching on You Tube: Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (2005) and all I have to say is, “WOW!” In short, Sophie Scholl and her brother, spoke out against the Nazi Regime and the egregious acts taking place in their country (German), most notably the Jewish death camps. She took risks, most wouldn’t dare to take. When she and her brother were arrested, she owned the charges that were brought against her. She believed so much in her cause, that she stood tall at her trial, telling the court that where she is now, they will soon be. How right her predictions were. Sophie had strength, courage and confidence that I cannot even fathom. At the age of 21, Sophie walked to her beheading with her head held high.
    I believe in my heart that what is happening to animals, especially farm animals, is the equivalent to the Holocaust ( I speak out against the egregious abuse because I believe it is wrong; however, if this were another time, another place, and speaking out could bring death upon me, would I be willing to die for my cause like Sophie? I believe I would. Her sacrifice opened people’s eyes to what was really happening in Nazi Germany. Sophie is a hero in my book. I hope you’ll take the time to learn about her story.

    • #8 by Scott Erb on December 17, 2012 - 22:13

      I’m so glad you watched it – when she talks about watching the mentally ill children killed and how no one can know what each person experiences the tears start flowing — the power of moral courage is beautiful, especially since the film was made to be as true as possible (if distilled down to two hours) to the transcripts.

      There is another film, “Downfall” which shows the last days of Hitler’s regime through the eyes of his personal secretary, Traudel Junge. You see how she is loyal but also watching the regime fall. At the end of the film they have her (the real one, not the actress) with an elderly voice say that after the war she never felt guilty. She didn’t know about the holocaust, she thought she was serving her country. Then one day she came upon the tribute to Sophie Scholl (she was from Munich too) and realize that they were both Bavarian girls born the same year. She started working for Hitler the year Sophie was killed. She realized then that she should have known. She’d closed her eyes.

      I have to ask myself, would I be Traudel, going with the flow, closing my eyes to reality in order not to have challenge the conventional wisdom, or would I be like Sophie, awake and seeing through the fog. That’s why I like your blog, you challenge to look at things like food industry and animal cruelty that are so, so easy to overlook. It makes me ask myself difficult questions.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment, reblog and for watching the film!

      • #9 by GiRRL_Earth on December 18, 2012 - 10:33

        My tears started flowing when she was in court standing up to the “People’s Court” and continued to flow to the very end. Such a brave girl!

        It certainly easier to take the blissfully unaware road but like Sophie says, that’s not living, that’s hiding. I’d rather speak out against injustices (in my case – animals) than sit comfortably unaware.

        You on the other hand have really opened my eyes and educated me on the right, left and middle… if you taught a class here in Boston, I’d be in the front row!

        Scott I really appreciate your kind and supportive words… it would seem you and I are learning from one another.


  8. #10 by Scott Erb on December 18, 2012 - 23:02

    Yes, GiRRL Earth, isn’t that the joy of blogging – learning and connecting in ways otherwise not possible. I gotta try some of your recipees some time!

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