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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Witch hunting

Salem in colonial Massachusetts was well-known for its witch 'trials'. From June to September of 1692, nineteen men and women were accused of possessing 'supernatural' powers in return for their loyalty to the Devil. The convicted were carted to a barren slope called Gallows Hill and hanged till death. A powerful reminder of the consequences of irrational fear and mass hysteria.

We may look at this part of history with contempt, but we still need a scapegoat to cast our sins upon. It is not uncommon to take out our pitchforks and look for a 'witch' when things go wrong. Some people have trouble accepting that the unhappiness stirring in their lives is not owing to the influence of an extraneous factor, but the repercussions of their fallacies.

As long as they keep looking outward, they can never address the source of their unhappiness. And more is the need to find someone else responsible for it- a horrible boss, an inconsiderate spouse, a conniving in-law, a despicable neighbor, even God or Fate.

This evasion of moral and personal responsibility leads only to one path- towards Gallows Hill of the strength of our character.

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