Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The erroneous assumption of goodwill or stop being so naive

Most progress comes from people who have some measure of optimism and positive thinking. However, that sometimes backfires.

When dealing with chronic abusers of women and children, and on a greater scale, terrorists and dictators, the assumption of sweet goodwill can be deadly.

For sure, most people are sweet, sometimes under a rough exterior and coarse words. Most people mean well and have the best of intentions.

Yet, some people don’t.

When you smile at such people, their hearts are not softened. They rather conclude that you’re an idiot, someone ready to be fooled and taken advantage of.

No, not all people are as sweet as you. Most people but not all.

The power-hungry, the con artist, the greedy and chronically abusive, the mass murderer, the tyrant, the fanatic, the serial rapist — you don’t want to meet them in a dark alley.

So, you’re not helpful when you project your good heart onto people who are so steeped in evil that you can’t reach them.

We can still be optimistic on most individual people but not on the exceptions. Not yet.

Some may redeem themselves but never from being smiled at. They first need to be cornered. As long as they have power, why would they change? They won’t. In their positions, they only understand the language of power.

It’s not sweet to become their victims. It’s not sweet to let others be their victims. Be allies to those who suffer under the ruthless. Don’t ally yourself with the heartless. Of course, they have empathy too but must have decided deeply decades ago to ignore that. Unless they are cornered, they won’t care. (If you “corner” them but not decisively, they may even kill. Don’t try this at home.)

NB: It doesn’t seem that there are evil Peoples but there are evil people and especially evil leaders. They may even incite not-so-evil followers, who as a group can also be dangerous. Even if most people are nice.

So, stand by the victims of rape and genocide, by Israelis and Jews, by anyone oppressed or endangered and don’t “reason away” real threats.

About the Author
To subscribe to his daily blog posts, enable an "RSS Feed Reader" for your device. Then click on the circle next to the ToI blogger's picture, containing a dot with two quarter circles around it (the Feed Computer icon). * The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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