“It’s as accurate a measure as any of a society: what is the smallest act of kindness that is considered heroic?” Anne Michaels
Anne Michaels asks this in Fugitive Pieces, an incredibly poetic book of a young Jewish boy who, saved from certain death in WWII Poland, finds sanctuary in Greece and then Toronto. It’s a tale of loss, grief and self forgiveness. It is absolutely beautiful.
In writing about complicity and morality in the war years, Michaels writes:
"In those days, to be moral required no more than the slightest flicker of movement —a micrometer —of eyes looking away or blinking, while a running man crossed a field. And those who gave water or bread! They entered a realm higher than the angels’ simply by remaining in the human mire.”
So I ask, what small act of kindness is considered heroic in the community in which you live? Is it an accurate measure of our society?