I’ve begun to wonder if there are many, if any, conversations worth having anymore in the public space. Most everyone seems so entrenched in their self-confirmed view of the world that it’s impossible for them to hear, let alone understand, anyone else’s point of view.
Do I exempt myself from that indictment? Hardly.
Perhaps the only difference between my worldview and most anyone else’s is that, if mine prevailed, you would be free to believe and do whatever you want so long as believing and doing it doesn’t encumber anyone else who did not voluntarily enter into such an encumbrance. That standard would be the standard of law.
Of course, I understand the many, many reasons why my worldview would never work, mostly noticeably because of the fact that, as I write this, I am also encumbered by the many, many things so many other people have decided to force upon so many others by the threat of government and law. Far too few people see this fact as a problem. And so we all pay.
Ultimately, we pay by becoming so entrenched in our self-confirmed points of view of the world that it has become impossible to for us to hear, let alone understand, anyone else’s point of view. As a result, when our points of view gain even a little bit of power, we use that power as a cudgel against those we presume are adversaries. We want them to pay. We want them to be punished.
And so, we become the very caricatures of the things we hate. Be become intolerant, boorish, unable to understand, wishing harm upon our supposed enemies. We cry out for blood and demand recompense for every perceived slight, all the while ignoring the fact that our highest calling is to discover, even in the midst of adversity, a way to leave the world better than we found it.
I, however, have not forgotten that calling. Do I think that makes me better? No, because I fail at it everyday. But if there is any last thing I think I should talk about, it is to encourage everyone to take a deep breath and to ask each of yourselves how you are fulfilling that calling.