There’s a certain smug arrogance that so often seems to dominate what passes for political and philosophical discussion in the US, and nowhere is this more evident than the attitude that is taken towards someone who changes his/her opinion. One might think that as experience, knowledge, and wisdom accumulates, a person’s views may shift accordingly. Such shifts, again in an ideal world, could be met with excitement and approval towards the person undergoing their own personal growth.
This is rarely the case.
Instead, it seems that such a person is more likely to met with disdain from those with whom he now is agreement with (“what took you so long”) and fury from those he abandoned – as a traitor to the “cause.”
Intellectual curiosity, an open mind, and a willingness to modify one’s views are considered a weakness and a character failing – better to stay on your side of the stadium and mindlessly wave your foam finger shouting “we’re number one!” This is not a world-view that can be held by a species hoping to evolve socially into the next century. Rather, this polarized, hostile framework is the intractable world-view of a species bent on self-destruction.
It is essential that we move our public discussion away from it’s current paradigm of a spectator sport - one that even evolves at times to a contact sport – and rather begin treating each other like decent human beings. We are literally brothers and sisters, relations, “one”, whatever you want to call it – we all feel, we all bleed, and we all have hopes and dreams. There is FAR MORE that we have in common than our differences, and anyone telling you different has an agenda that isn’t in your best interest.
We’ve given the other way plenty of time to prove itself, and it has. Polarization, hate, intolerance and partisanship on all levels of our society have created the biggest shit show in history. It has created, predictably, wholesale killing, repression, subjugation, inequality and misery, not to mention complete lunacy at the highest levels of government, and increasingly frantic attempts to maintain a narrative that all but a simpleton can see through anymore.
It’s time to give the idiot child a pat on the head and usher it out the door before it decides to start another world war, this time with nukes, in order to justify its existence. It’s time to look across the “aisle” and realize there never was an aisle anyway. It’s not that hard, really, if you try it, to just look at an “enemy” with new eyes. Look hard, look deep, until you see the truth of it – you see yourself looking back. There is love in abundance or there is chaos and death. Is there really any other choice?
You won’t make this happen from the top down. You won’t force this. You won’t be able to use the old methods to create something new. This can only be created, first, in your own heart and then shared until it’s complete. Let’s start now.
I love you. Pass it on.