Excursions by Amit Gawande

Simplicity of Love

There is a fascinating conversation on episode 97 of the Criminal podcast with the now 99 year old Benjamin Ferencz. He primarily talks about his experiences as an investigator of Nazi war crimes after the World War II. There are some gut-wrenching stories about the atrocities he witnessed against Jews, and against humanity. He also shares his experiences of his trial against the high-ranking members of Nazi Germany’s death squad”, a trial that he called the plea of humanity to the law”.

But towards the end of the episode, there is this heart-warming tale from Mr. Ferencz. He talks about his wife who is 5 years older than him; whom he has been married to for last 72 years; whom he had never had a quarrel with. And he believes there is a very simple reason for that.

First of all, I am not suggesting we didn’t have differences of opinion. But we never raised our voice. We never shouted. We never pounded a table. Because it’s mutual respect, and caring for each other. They have a funny word for it that I don’t like - love. I don’t like the word. Because you could love a piece of cheese, you love that lovely day. I could love to go home. I would love to finish this interview. And I say if you say caring for somebody, that reflects better. And my wife now needs my care. This is the pay back time.”

Now and again, it helps to keep things simple - I guess experience must imbue you with such clarity of thoughts. From all the myriad of swanky adulations for the word and the feeling of love”, I would prefer the simplicity of caring for somebody”.

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