I is for Inhumanity

All my thought-of posts are going for a toss. Just finished John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and immediately these lines rose in my mind:

Man’s Inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

These lines occur in Robert Burns’ poem Man was Made to Mourn: A Dirge. A poem published in 1784.

To me the best counter to this is one provided by South African writer and activist Alan Paton:

There is only one way in which one can endure man’s inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one’s own life, to exemplify man’s humanity to man.


Which particular instance of inhumanity – in literature or history – can you not get out of your mind? Do share.


Entry for letter I

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