I love this poem by Bertolt Brecht. He was a writer and theatre maker during the inter war and Second World War years. I think what he says here is still so relevant today:
To those who come after
To the cities I came in a time of disorder That was ruled by hunger. I sheltered with the people in a time of uproar And then I joined in their rebellion. That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
I ate my dinners between the battles, I lay down to sleep among the murderers, I didn't care for much for love And for nature's beauties I had little patience. That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
The city streets all led to foul swamps in my time, My speech betrayed me to the butchers. I could do only little But without me those that ruled could not sleep so easily: That's what I hoped. That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
Our forces were slight and small, Our goal lay in the far distance Clearly in our sights, If for me myself beyond my reaching. That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
You who will come to the surface From the flood that's overwhelmed us and drowned us all Must think, when you speak of our weakness in times of darkness That you've not had to face:
Days when we were used to changing countries More often than shoes, Through the war of the classes despairing That there was only injustice and no outrage.
Even so we realised Hatred of oppression still distorts the features, Anger at injustice still makes voices raised and ugly. Oh we, who wished to lay for the foundations for peace and friendliness, Could never be friendly ourselves.
And in the future when no longer Do human beings still treat themselves as animals, Look back on us with indulgence. Bertolt Brecht