Having acknowledged that it is impossible to assess the degree to which I might have participated in terrible atrocities had I lived in the same context in which they emerged seventy years ago, it is important to ask what commitments I might make in the present that could help ensure that my life is less inclined towards patterns of violence.

Here are ten commitments that may help to create a world in which the systematic violence of Nazism is less likely to be repeated:

1. I renounce violence in its most subtle forms and choose to nurture qualities of gentleness and respect towards all people, especially those who are most vulnerable.

2. I will question authority and encourage anyone who may come under my authority to feel free to question any decision or action I may take.

3. While I value and affirm the importance of the human collective, I will always seek to avoid any collective action that could be calculated to diminish or harm the individual.

4.  I renounce “nationalism” and affirm that boundaries between countries are artificial and that, contrary to appearances, all people belong to one human family and that the most universal belonging takes precedence over any other artificial divisions within the human community.

5. I will build into my life and encourage in the lives of others the establishment of all possible supports to civilized behaviour and mutual respect for all people particularly those whose lives and customs I find strange and unfamiliar.

6.  I will challenge any teaching, doctrine, or belief that portrays any group of people as necessarily a dangerous threat to my well-being.

7.  I renounce all enemy-formation and refuse to view the human community as divided between friend and foe.

8. I choose to bear the pain of standing alone if the actions, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviour of any group of which I am a part violates the dictates of my conscience.

9. I determine to stand against a dominant culture that appears to devalue any person or any part of God’s creation, even if taking such a stand may seem likely to be costly.

10. I will do all in my power to resist allowing my choices to be dictated by violence, fear, insecurity, or hatred and will nurture in my life and in the lives of those with whom I come into contact, disciplines that encourage peace, boldness, inner security, and love.

Honesty demands that I acknowledge that It is never possible to know in advance how I might respond in a difficult, painful, or threatening situation. But, I can make choices today that move away from violence, prejudice and the destruction of human community and towards gentleness, openness and the nurture of respectful human relations.

Even my smallest choices are setting a direction for my life. I am either moving towards violence or peace. There are few utterly inconsequential decisions. The tone of my life is dictated by the tenor of each decision I make along the way, even when those decisions appear to relate to matters that are of minor importance.

And there are no private choices. The choices I make affect the world I inhabit. My decisions help create an environment that is moving towards death or towards life. I need to make my decisions conscious of the fact that they have an impact beyond myself.