It made me revisit the delicate balance between the importance of personal accountability and forgiveness. History has shown that humans fall pray to culture. The atrocities that occur during events such as the Holocaust, Vietnam, and more recently, at Abu Ghraib occur with such consistency that it makes me worry that under the same circumstances, I also would have fallen in line. My third year of medical school has only accentuated that. I've come to realize that though it's horrendous, it's one of the flaws of human nature. In some ways it occurs to me that while we all must be held individually accountable, it's also a systems error.
Ultimately, Magneto falls short of a true hero because while he appropriately holds individuals responsible, he lacks one of the most beautiful qualities of human nature which is compassion. Ultimately, he reminds me of the trap that is all too easy to fall into when we focus on our anger: revenge. The oppressed must not become the oppressor. Paulo Freire would not approve.