By Karl Faase

War is like time-lapse photography

time lapse

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who lived in Germany through the Second World War and was executed by the Nazis for his involvement in a plot to kill Hitler.

Bonhoeffer was a prolific writer with unusual insight. He wrote often about the scourge of war and what it shows us about humanity.

He once compared war with time-lapse photography. When you watch time-lapse photography, subtle changes that naturally occur over hours and hours, which pass unnoticed, are accentuated and made obvious.

Bonhoeffer wrote that war did the same for human behavior. Attitudes and actions that went unnoticed were now obvious. He concluded that war did not produce these attitudes, it only revealed and emphasized them.

We can all tend to blame circumstances for our poor or excusable behavior but perhaps all they do is make obvious the attitudes that lie beneath the surface of our lives every day.

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