Anne, Saturday's Child, starts off the newest year sharing a few of her favorite quotes and some of her answers to her favorite questions. A flurry of my own favored quotes flew through my mind, the various voices gabbling at me, vying for my attention. The one that stayed as the others' squabbling died down was one that I had used to accompany an entry in my first journal; you can find that post here.
There have been many variations of the quote; the gist staying the same, even as it is adapted to fit whatever the situation may be. The general idea to me is that when we remain silent while others' rights are being violated, then no one is left to speak out when ours are trampled. Desecration somehow only applies to what we view as sacred, our own principles. Pastor Martin Niemoeller said it best, when he addressed political apathy and inactivity in this way:
In Germany, they came first for the Communist; and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. And then they came for the trade unionists; and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews; and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. And then...they came for me...and by that time, there was no one left to speak up.