The Catbird and her school watched Hotel Rwanda in school today. Hotel Rwanda is the story of Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan hotel manager who saved some 1,200 people from the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.
She was understandably upset about what she saw during the film, and about the fact that things like that are still happening today, as they happened in the former Yugoslavia, and in Europe in World War II, and on and on, back seemingly forever.
It’s terrible to think that human beings have an almost-infinite capacity for brutality, that there are people who will order the deaths and torture of others simply because they don’t look the same, or don’t share the same race, religion, color, you name it. Yet, at the same time, it’s uplifting to think that there are always people like Paul Rusesabagina—men and women who will stand up for the victims, who will put their lives on the line to protect others, who will risk everything to stop the brutality. That’s the message I told the Catbird to focus on.
I hope there will always be people like Rusesabagina, even as I hope that someday, we won’t need them.