We live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally il because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore each other, to care only about ourselves. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility or forgiveness lost their depth and dimensions, and for many of us they represented only psychological peculiarities, or they resembled gone astray greetings from ancient times, a little ridiculous in the era of computers and spaceships.

I came across a speech Vaclav Havel made in his first address as the president of Czechoslovakia. The speech itself was aimed at people who were intent on absolving themselves from the role they played in perpetuating the country’s Communist past. This is one of those rare speeches that transcends the era and the context in which it is delivered because the essence of what Havel’s message remains true.

We’ve all come across a situation that we found odious but kept quiet for the sake of self preservation; it is something that I, in particular, am guilty of. Humans aren’t flawless but our intentions should be perfect. We may not always satisfy the moral criteria we have set for ourselves but what is important is that we strive to achieve them.

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