Sunday, September 18, 2016
The Divide That Unites
The world is at war with itself, the Each with the Other, the One with the All, the Right with the Wrong and the Other Right with the Other Wrong. We all divide ourselves into Us vs. Them. Sometimes it's a big Us like our Holy Country vs. that Ungodly Abomination. Sometimes it's a smaller Us like our religion vs. theirs over there. Christians vs. Muslims. Or our religion vs. their slightly different one. Catholics vs. Protestants. Or Protestants vs. other Protestants or other, other Protestants or other, other, other Protestants. The saddest Us of them all is the Us of only One. One vs. the All. This is where divisiveness dissolves into narcissism. The sickness of singularity.
And what do we say about the Other? The Not Us? That they dress funny? Talk funny? Teach hate? Eat their young? Eat our young? Or maybe that they are just that? Not Us?
What do you really know about people who have a lifestyle or opinion that disagrees with you? Well, you know three things:
1. They are people...
2. Who disagree...
3. With you.
They are not terrorists. They are not misogynists. They are not ignorant, toothless hillbillies. Or east/west coast PC liberals. They are not shrieking, bomb throwing Bolsheviks. They are not agents of Satan. They are not rapist fiends. They are not cartoon villains.
They are people... who disagree... with you.
In fact, they are You. You with the same prejudices. You with the same surety of their own righteousness. You with the same families and children at home that they want to protect from the horrors of the other Other and preserve the way of life that they love and mourn its passing. They are mothers and fathers and sons and daughters. People who, under different circumstances, would gladly share a meal and a schnapps. People who know how you feel.
So people fight and do deplorable things. In the name of their uniqueness they justify the murder of innocent people. All because They are right and the Other is wrong. And They are afraid.
They are You if You were They. Why are we fighting ourselves?