They couldn’t have lived more disparate lives or set more vastly different examples for their people. Perhaps the only things they shared in common were that they both recently died and they were both well-known heads of state of nations who repeatedly made the news during the last 20 years or so. Outside of that, Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, and KimJong-il, North Korea’s “dear leader” dictator, held values and led lives that were as different as light from darkness, good from evil.
Havel lead his people in a bloodless “velvet revolution” that not only freed his nation from communism but also helped pull the entire Central-Eastern European region back into the civilized world that cherishes human rights, personal freedom, economic opportunity and a chance for individual fulfillment.
Kim Jong-il on the other hand, was a renowned communist tyrant. He oppressed his own people and any other poor unfortunates who fell into his hands. He treated his people like mongrels, despised dogs – inadequately fed and frequently kicked in order to keep them in fear and cringing submission. Hundreds of thousands have died and are dying of hunger in a country that is nothing but one large concentration camp populated by guards and prisoners.
When the righteous triumph, there is great rejoicing, but when the wicked come to power, people hide themselves (Proverbs 28:12 Holmen Christian Standard Bible).
The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot (Proverbs 10:7 English Standard Version).