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The silence of the good guys


Published in

El Día, El Norte de Castilla and Diario de Navarra

Gerardo Castillo

Professor School of Education and Psychology

On July 4, 1776, the United States congress approved the Declaration of Independence from the British Empire, which emphasized individual rights. Thomas Jefferson was its principal drafter, thus making a decisive contribution to democracy. His words are highly topical: "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance". This means that it is not enough to be a good person who fulfills his or her domestic and work duties; all citizens have a responsibility to contribute, in some way, to the subsistence of the free society in which we live. For this reason, the current "leniency of the good" in the face of unjust social situations is not morally acceptable. "Human society is bad both because of the misdeeds of the bad guys and the complicit silence of the good guys" (Facundo Cabral).

This complicity is currently occurring prematurely in the frequent cases of bullying, in which a group of students passively watch as the "bad guy" of class ridicules a classmate daily for being very different and especially vulnerable. 

Martin Luther King spoke of guilty silences: "God will judge us not so much for the bad things we did, but for the good things we should have done and did not do. The wicked speak, and loudly. On the other hand, the "good men" believe that to be right is to do the opposite, and they refrain from any action that involves a confrontation, a confrontation, a denunciation, because they do not want to do anything that could lead to a confrontation, a confrontation, a denunciation.
confrontation, a confrontation, a denunciation, because confrontation is confused with lack of love and denunciation with lack of respect. And in this way, in the absence of confrontation, consent is reached; and the absence of confrontation degenerates into cowardice". 

The philosopher Ana L. San Román stresses the same idea: "the problems of our world do not derive only from bad actions, bad decisions, corruption, violence, but also, and to a greater extent, from the contemplative attitude of that other half of the world that considers that the problems of 'the others' do not concern them.
but also, and to a greater extent, from the contemplative attitude of that other half of the world that considers that the problems of 'the others' do not concern them". 

Society is corrupted not so much by the actions of the wicked as by the passivity of the good, for example, in the face of certain gender philosophies in schools. No parent should remain silent when their children are being harmed. Another example is silence in the face of laws that threaten the right to life. We cannot be like "dumb dogs" -in the expression of the prophet Isaiah- when the flock is threatened: "All those who watch over my people are blind and ignorant. They are like dumb dogs that cannot bark; they are always drowsy and lying down, they love to sleep". (Isaiah, 56, 10-11) 

Luther King also denounced indifference: "Have you noticed how many times the passive virtues of the Christian life are preached, including patience and resignation, and how few in comparison with courage, risk, the struggle for ideals, the defense of faith and truth? We live in difficult times in which, in the face of the complex circumstances that surround us, indifference seems to be the most sensible reaction. It is expressed in phrases more than heard: "I do not want problems", "that does not concern me". And the "good men" are allowing evil and the wicked to run wild. It is better to fight and die alone, than to live being part of the wickedness of the wicked and of the "good men" who consent to it". They are those who hide their cowardice behind the wall of silence. 

Edmund Burke wrote that "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". That is the message of the following metaphor in core topic humor: "Hell was almost full. A line of candidates was waiting to enter. The devil came out and said that there was only one place left, so he asked who was the worst of them all. One of them tried to dismiss himself by saying that he had witnessed many injustices, but that he never did anything. The demon replied that there was no doubt, the vacant place was his." 

We cannot be impassive spectators of the moral permissiveness of the society in which we live. "In the face of the cowardly silence and lukewarmness of many, let us be stones that cry out". (Antonio M. Claret). Fear is had, cowardice is chosen. It would be desirable that those who feel unable to speak let their good works speak for them.