by Mark Chmiel


I wanted to pass this brief passage on to you from Hannah Arendt, German philosopher, Jewish immigrant to the USA, author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, from an interview in 1964…

The venture into the public realm seems clear to me. One exposes oneself to the light of the public, as a person. Although I am of the opinion that one must not appear and act in public self-consciously, still I know that in every action the person is expressed as in no other human activity. Speaking is also a form of action. That is one venture. The other is: we start something. We weave our strand into a network of relations. What comes of it we never know. We’ve all been taught to say: Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do. That is true of all action. Quite simply and concretely true, because one cannot know. That is what is meant by a venture. And now I would say that this venture is only possible when there is trust in people. A trust—which is difficult to formulate but fundamental—in what is human in all people. Otherwise such a venture could not be made.