(...) Then she said something I never forgot: "Issur,"--that was my name then--"even a beggar must give to another beggar who needs it more than he does."
I was an American movie star whose pictures were seen all around the world. This gave me the opportunity to do something for my country that most Americans couldn't do. So I became an Ambassador of Goodwill for the State Department and traveled to 40 countries talking about America. I wasn't viewed as a Democrat or a Republican. They only saw me as an American. By the way, I paid all my own expenses--I didn't want anyone to say that Kirk Douglas traveled abroad on the taxpayers' dime.
But you do not need to be a movie star to stand up for basic human freedom. The fight against oppression and tyranny depicted in is still going on all over the globe from Syria to Egypt to Iran. Even the Russians are once again facing the threat of a popular uprising.
I believe much of the divisiveness in the world is caused by religious fanaticism, even in the time of Spartacus when they worshipped many Gods. Man was not placed on earth to tell God how great He is. He doesn't need our help. As you study history, you find that millions of people have been killed because of religious divisions based on false orthodoxy not genuine spirituality.
After 95 years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that the human spirit can never be crushed, no matter how cruel the oppressor or fanatic the belief. If we remember that simple truth--and act on it every day in small ways and sometimes in large movements--then freedom will ultimately win.
And then we are all Spartacus.