Russian President Vladimir Putin is apparently very popular in his country.  Russians believe Putin’s incredible lie that, against all evidences, the Ukrainians government forces shot down Malaysian Airlines MH17, not the Russian supported separatists.   However, of course, all evidences point to the separatists as culprits.  It is very dangerous to humiliate a proud people: they believe anything that gives them back the pride they lost.  This is why humiliation helped Adolf Hitler to be elected to lead the nation to a total disaster in order to recover the sense of greatness as people which they lost during the First World War and its aftermath.

When Japan was recovering from devastation of the World War II, the many captains of major Japanese industries that led the incredible economic recovery between 1950’s and 60’s were officers of the Japanese Imperial Forces.  I knew many of them personally.  The motto I heard often during those days was, “We were beaten in military, but we will beat them in economy.”  That’s the one of the reasons Japan became the second largest economy in a short time until they were overtaken recently by China.  Free competitive market is a constructive place to choose for revenge, but their motive gave me a chill.   It is dangerous to humiliate proud people.   Desire for revenge kills humanity and truth.   Hatred and self-deception make all of us beasts.  When we remind ourselves about the greatness of Russian culture; art, literature, music, and science, it is understandable that people love Mr. Putin who is helping them recover the pride they had lost after the fall of the Soviet empire.

I am in no way justifying the evil paths German, Japanese, and Russian people had followed during the 20th Century.  But I am warning about the danger of humiliating people.  Gwyn Dyer traces the almost intractable problems facing the Middle East to the humiliation of the Arabs and the Jewish people.  They were both great people in culture, science, and spiritual traditions.  And yet they had been utterly humiliated by the West throughout the recent history.  Have we done the same to the First Nations?

We must never humiliate people.  Like the cliché has it,  ”Hate evil not people.”

August 5, 2014

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