…There is another point that I should touch on, and it refers to the state of crisis that we find around us. How did all this come about, and who is to blame for it?
I will not make a conventional analysis of this. There will be no science, no statistics. Instead, I will offer my answer in images that can reach the heart of every individual. After an immense period of time had passed, human life began to flower on this planet. But with the passage of millennia, the peoples and the nations began to grow separate and distinct. There was a time to be born, a time to laugh, a time to suffer, and a time to die. Individuals, peoples, and nations, building and growing, succeeding one another until at last they inherited the Earth.
They ruled the waters of the oceans and flew faster than the wind, and they crossed the mountains. And in voices of the storm and with light brighter than the sun, they demonstrated their power. Then they looked back and saw in the distance their blue planet, their gentle protector, veiled by clouds. What energy has moved all this activity, what motor has propelled the human being through history, if not rebellion against death?
From earliest times, death has dogged humankind’s footsteps like a shadow. And since ancient times, death has found its way into the human heart and tried to conquer it. What was at first an unrelenting struggle driven by the necessities of life became a struggle driven by fear and desire. And two roads opened: the road of Yes and the road of No.
At that point, all thought, all emotion, and all action became torn by doubt over whether to choose the Yes or the No. “Yes” created everything that allowed humankind to surpass suffering. “No” added suffering to pain. There was no person, no relationship, no organization free of its internal Yes and its internal No. Then the separate peoples and nations began to connect one to another, until at last the civilizations came together, and the Yes and the No of every language was heard simultaneously in the farthest corners of the Earth.
How will human beings ever triumph over their shadow? By fleeing it? By confronting it in incoherent struggle? If the motor of history is rebellion against death, I say to you now: Rebel against frustration and revenge! For the first time in history, let us stop looking for people to blame.
Everyone is responsible for what they have done, but no one is to blame for what has happened. If only with this universal judgment we could declare: “No one is to blame,” and with this establish a moral obligation that every human being reconcile with his or her own past. This will begin here today in you, and you will be responsible to see that it continues, reaching those around you until it has spread to the last corner of the Earth…