History is too often reduced to stories of good versus evil. We get the impression that we are somehow different from the people who were bad, and we take for granted that we would never make similar choices.

We should learn to empathize with those who make terrible choices — not to pardon their choices nor to deny ourselves the right to grieve, but to recognize when we might be heading down a similar path. If we see them as people and understand where they went wrong, we can avoid making the same mistakes.
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