Ruminations about The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Knowledge
To Whomsoever it might intrigue,
First, I might need to introduce myself. The privilege of expressing my thoughts is being granted to me for the first time today so you won’t be familiar with what I really am even though you know my name. Myself Knowledge, the actual founder of all things. My journey starts when a person is born. I grow in them as they grow and subsists even after they die. The perception each person has of me is different and situational. For some, I am scientific understanding which is acquired by practical applications and experiments and for others, a familiarity or awareness of the numerous arenas presented by the world which exist in the form of facts, theories, memories, perceptions, testimonies, enquiries etc, acquired through experiences and education. Not bragging, but I am like oxygen and my absence for a second will be disastrous. Personally, I like to introduce myself as a character that honours ethics and humanity above all. I can go on about myself and my power for eternity as I have immense ‘knowledge’ about myself. So let’s move on.
Given this opportunity which might be the only one I will ever get, I intend to reveal some of my bitter experiences and emotions relating to the appropriation of the guidance and assistance I provide to mankind. As I have mentioned earlier, I benefit human beings in unique ways and its control isn’t in my hands because after all, they have been nourishing and developing me since the beginning. But honestly, the ride with them is chaotic and self-questioning. Even though the rapid developments are praiseworthy and mankind is achieving feats that were once considered impossible, I cannot condone employing my service for destructive and harmful purposes. The expectations I had of brotherhood, harmony and peace are crushed and I feel betrayed. Last year was the 75th anniversary of one of the most dreadful experiences of my life. I was put to work to threaten countries, harm people and destroy the land. It was during World War 2, a time of violence and utter ignorance of the sufferings of the common man. A group of eminent physicists whom I had assisted faithfully, developed an ultimate weapon for mass destruction, the atomic bomb. The betrayal starts from there. These Nobel Prize winners used the valuable insights I gave them to destroy humanity !!! I was enraged yet relieved because I believed that they were just exploring the limits and won’t actually use it as a weapon. My loyal companion, Albert Einstein’s letter to the then US President Franklin D Roosevelt suggesting the early development of bombs before the Germans, was like a stab from behind.
What got into him?
The Manhattan Project began, the first nuclear weapon was discovered and detonated in New Mexico and finally, Truman ordered to bomb Japan. The power I possessed and enjoyed felt like a burden. The grief and shame led to self-loathing and pity. I couldn’t stop thinking about it because like human beings I can’t shut myself from anything. I felt responsible for the 1,40,000 deaths in Hiroshima.
It didn’t stop there. Just after 2 whole nights, another bomb destroyed Nagasaki and killed 74,000 people. I knew the aftereffect would haunt them for a long time and it still does. Nuclear radiation caused more deaths, psychological trauma and loss, the pictures of severed body parts and destroyed buildings; I get horrific nightmares of people screaming for help, even after 75 years.
I spent the better half of the past years feeling guilty and disappointed in myself and others. But I have come at peace with the fact that I am incapable of causing bad and good. I am mere information and its appropriation is what causes destruction. In good hands, I become powerful and in wrong hands, I become an accomplice to the crime. I felt proud and liberated when President Barack Obama commemorated the atomic bomb victims in 2016.
Currently, both cities are rising from ashes like the Phoenix and I extend them all my wishes and offer my continued service for eternity.
I admire your patience. Listening to old stories and joining me on my guilt trip might not be what you expected. Forgive this powerful yet weak soul.
I hope this won’t be the last time I write a letter to you.
Sending you my best to strive through the pandemic.