Where were you when it happened?

Many of us have come across situations where we knew something was not right but we did not want to speak out because we thought that it did not have anything to do with us. We sat back and let whatever was to happen, happened. This could backfire on us. I would like to share two cases as illustrations.

First they came for the others

The first is the famous case of the Reverend Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), a Lutheran pastor who initially supported Hitler and the Nazis and was subsequently sent by them to a concentration camp. He wrote this poem after World War II about the Nazis in Germany.

First they came for the socialists,


and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,


and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,


and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me,


and there was no one left to speak for me.

A mouse in a farmhouse


The second is the case of a mouse in a farmhouse. The mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning : “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!

A mouse in a farmhouse

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

a pig

The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers. “ The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

a chicken


The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

a cow

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap … alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did no see that it was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well…She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon. And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn’t concern you, remember the story of the mouse in the farmhouse.

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