Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

Stephane Hessel, NPR photo

He doesn’t look 94, does he? And in fact, he probably shouldn’t even be alive. Much less 94. So I’m hopeful. Because Stephane Hessel is not only alive, but still outraged by what’s wrong with the world. And he should know.

Hessel, a French Resistance fighter in WWII, survived capture by the Germans. Survived it twice, through escape. And now speaks of the necessity for moral outrage. Stand up against “what makes you unhappy, what makes you furious,” he says. Because the alternative is for things to go quite wrong.

Thank you, Mr. Hessel. I’m not as good as I would like at tolerance, but you gave me a hint. It wasn’t simply moral outrage that kept you alive — it was something else, as well. Hessel “credits his own long life and good health to something very different; luck, love, happiness and poetry.” That’s good advice for each of us.

 

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