There is a lot of evil in this world. Even through there is evil, there are people that can redeem a situation even if they are not wholeheartedly doing the right thing. William Ford was this kind of man. Even though he was not morally correct by owning slaves, he showed a sense of humanity through his morality and religious actions. As we have been reading through history, the reoccurrence of religion causing more brutality then relief is prevalent. In 12 Years a Slave, the character Solomon explains that his master is not nearly as bad as what he could have been. It gives me a sense of relief to know that even in those darkest of times, there was still a slave owner with some form of humanity still intact within him.
Solomon’s had a genuine respect for the moral character of his slaveholder. “Were all men such as he (William Ford), slavery would be deprived of half its bitterness.” – (Solomon)
I am very impressed with Soloman’s character! It is extremely admirable that Solomon could see the good in his master even though he was oppressed by slavery! I know that if I was in his position, bitterness, anger, and melancholy would probably be too overwhelming to notice any redeeming qualities in William Ford. While William Ford was a good Christian man he never thought that slavery was immoral. This is a perfect example of how culture can desensitize us to our true morality. In 12 Years a Slave I find it interesting that Solomon talks about how his master never thought of slavery as being wrong. The concept of slavery being immoral or unethical never crossed William Ford’s mind, this is probably due to the fact that for generations his family owned slaves. I think we even see this in today’s culture! Time and time again, we live our daily lives not even recognizing that our world is brutally unhealthy and unethical. Just like William Ford, we find ourselves living in an immoral world and many don’t even realize the extent of it. Being inside the frame it is difficult to see the whole picture.
What do we have in our world today? Human trafficking, child labor, economic slavery, addiction, materialism, the breakdown of families, violence, bitterness, hate, selfishness, just to name a few things in today’s world that some deem “normal”.
I think there is still redemption to be found in the world. Even though we are blind to the evil in our culture that has been ongoing for generations, we have the capability of reconciling the world. How do we do this? It starts by recognizing the destruction for what it really is and by opening our eyes to see the roots of all these problems. The next step is to open our hearts to these world issues and use our newborn compassion to start reconciliation. The time to start is now.