TOK: We are not defined by what was taken -what was lost – We are defined by what we do with what remains. CARL WILKENS

 

Carl Wilkens, a humanitarian and author of the book: I’m not leaving, spoke to our TOK students about his role during the Rwandan genocide, but more specifically he came to talk about the importance of tolerance. Whilst thousands of expatriates were fleeing Rwanda to their respective countries, Carl Wilkens decided to stay. He felt that his presence could save the lives of not only his night watchman and maid, but also the lives of the orphans that remained. Between April 1994 and July 1994 Carl ventured out everyday to try to save the lives of orphans by bring them food, water and medicine to different orphanages around the city. His actions saved thousands of lives (worldoutsidemyshoes). At the end of his talk he wrote this powerful quote: We are not defined by what was taken or what was lost. We are defined by what remains -Carl Wilkens. As such, we asked out TOK students to reflect on the following Carl’s presentation, his documentary and the following questions:

BLOG QUESTIONS: To what extent do you find each ethical perspective offered in the film useful or insightful way of thinking about morality? We learned from the film that Carl stayed behind because he felt that his presence could save lives, thus begs the ethical question: Do  you have a responsibility to act on knowledge ie. are we responsible for for situations were we fail to act (poverty, famine, genocide etc) ? If you are aware of situations where you could act to improve them, are you obligated to act to the best of your ability?