This quote, by a German clergyman who lived through World War II, is particularly important advice to keep in mind in a world of prejudice and susupicion. In the days and months after 9-11, otherwise intelligent people were filled with suspicion at others strictly on the basis of their appearance. I know of some people who today make it their business to stalk and spy on indivuduals for no other reason but mistrust based on ethnic origin:
“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Pastor Martin Niemöller.