Humanity still within reach–Ray Pierzchajlo story

In the shadow of the Aurora theatre killings, the Toronto BBQ shootings, the killing of armoured car guards at the U of A in Edmonton and the one-year anniversary of Pierzchajlothe Oslo/Utoeya Island massacre, it’s worth reading the inspiring story of Ray Pierzchajlo, an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, and someone who has somehow, against the odds, grown mercy.

That mercy and good will still exists and flourishes in quiet corners beyond the frenzied and alluring spotlight of these horrific events, is a sign that—even though we are still in our swaddling clothes—mature and gracious humanity is still within reach.

I commend the Edmonton Journal for running this story.


  1. “Who are we as humans” asks Sam. Stephen, the story you just posted about the Holocaust survivor is what I hope is representative of the human race, but I fear not. Mr. Michaels appears to promise hope that inherently, we all have good inside of us. The media wants us to believe otherwise as it thrives on telling the stories of horror, hatred, and lives gone bad. Chris Hedges has just written a very depressing piece:

    But I still believe otherwise, that humans are better than this, that we simply don’t hear frequently enough the stories of good and hope and love. Too mundane are these stories. But tell them we must.

  2. A beautiful story, Steve – thanks so much. I appreciated Diane’s counterpoint with the piece by Hedges. We create systems, and then the systems take over. But systems can be resisted, and changed…

  3. I agree that we need stories such as Mr. Pierzchajlo’s, but I don’t think they’re mundane at all; I think they’re extraordinary and relatively rare, and that we’re desperately hungry for them. But I also think we need pieces like the Chris Hedges one linked above–allowing ourselves the luxury of complacency, of bright-siding and whitewashing reality and history dooms us.

  4. Thanks Connie, Certainly, Mr. Pierzchajlo’s story is hardly mundane. Unfortunately our media often see these as mundane, in the sense of dull, prosaic, as compared to stories of violence. How wonderful a world if Mr. Pierzchajlo’s story was mundane in the sense of everyday occurrence.

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