The eighth reason I am shying away from social activism is that I think it is very hard to know enough about a situation to judge. I suppose the best way would be to watch a jury trial, but even then, even the present jury can be wrong. A perpetrator probably doesn’t even know what he did, and he is sometimes the only one remaining who was there. Witnesses who were there often disagree. So am I to take some un-involved newscaster’s word for it? The only observers I really trust are those who are in theosis and are clairvoyant. I have heard stories of monks on Mt. Athos telling a person who they are and what they did before they are even introduced. The rest of us are backseat, armrest psychologists.

Does this mean that one should not try to evaluate events? No, we do the best we can anyway.

Yesterday in honor of the anniversary of the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II’s family and servants, I watched a documentary and read some articles about the last Tsar. There are definitely polarized, mixed reviews regarding his administration. Most agree, however, that he was not a statesman who was up to the demands of his times. But was he just a passive, negligent bystander who should have only been a nice Orthodox family man, or was he a coward who slaughtered innocent masses of people, both his own civilians and poorly administered military? Could either character have stopped the Bolsheviks? It doesn’t seem so to me from my comfy recliner.

But if he was the first, what does that say about passivism? Was Tsar Nicholas II truly incapable of ruling? Was Edward VIII also incapable? The King’s Speech portrays two brothers who were traumatized by their childhoods. One ended up stuttering, but was capable of perceptive action, the other could speak smoothly, but balked in the face of difficult, sacrificial duty. It is very difficult to judge these things. Edward VIII was psychologically dependent on Wallace Simpson. Nicholas II was also very dependent on Alexandra. They seemed to need these women in order to feel safe, and they panicked at the idea of going out into the world alone. They were ostriches. But do ostriches have a choice to bury their heads or not? It seems a very innate part of their nature. Some people may really not be strong enough to stand some things. But could we all stand more than we do? Probably, but sometimes it takes a coach or supportive person to encourage us to do so. I think it is difficult to judge someone who may not have that support. Lord have mercy on us all.

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