There are certain myths that we tell ourselves when the truth is just too difficult to bear.
Those on the far left too often concern themselves only with the morality of physical walls, while their hearts and minds remain impervious to the horrors increasingly attendant upon a culture of death. A culture that they themselves helped create. And one that wholly denigrates, if not unconsciously despises, those most vulnerable among us. Those on the far right too often engage themselves solely in a war over cultural barriers. But in so doing, shared ideals of love and compassion are easily, if not inevitably, exchanged for phony idols and merciless damnation. Diatribes replace dialogue, condemnation overwhelms charity.
From whichever direction we approach, the result is the same. And we are all the worse for it.
But we are neither hapless nor helpless. And we have as many opportunities for listening as we do of one-sided debating.
That is not to say that we shouldn’t “judge.” (Let’s be honest, even articulating such a thought today feels, at once, both narrow-minded and bigoted.)
Yet there remain standards, and morals, and shared fundamental principles that were once unquestioned, once simply assumed as necessary for a civilized people if peace and progress were to be advanced for the common good.
But somewhere along the way we began to unlearn what that all means. We have allowed our commonality to be outpaced by our individual self-importance. We have demanded of others what we dare not first demand of ourselves.
And we have stopped listening.
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