Thursday, May 21, 2015

Our Confused Urge to Purge

     Don't we just love to hear an intelligent, devastating critique of a person or group we hate? Yes! It makes us feel so right, smart, good, holy; and makes "the other" look so wrong, stupid, bad, evil!
     It's easy if people we hate are different - not one of us. As Homer Simpson famously said "He's different - I don't like him!" We can even create differences to suit an agenda, as was apparently the case to divide Rwanda into Hutus & Tutsis. Religious belief is trickier, especially among those with essentially the same religion, but we've succeeded with a vengeance in this as well - Catholics vs Protestants, Shia Muslims vs Sunni Muslims ...

     Reformers within such groups, who believe that butchering each other may not be the best, most evolved, or sustainable approach, are often branded as traitors & heretics, shunned or even killed. Whistleblowers in large companies or governments fare no better. Why?

     Because we hate to face, much less to clean-up, our own home. It's so much easier to find fault in other individuals & groups, and then eradicate all our problems by declaring war on ... anything but the real problem. Eradicate whoever / whatever we project our own shadow upon, then everything will be perfect. "And how's that working for you?" Dr. Phil might reasonably inquire.
     We must recognize that we're still surprisingly primitive & tribal. The present state of the human race reflects the very early level of our individual psychosocialspiritual evolution. Each of us has a lot of growing-up to do. 
     This requires a complete turnabout, an inversion of sorts, turning our world right-side-up. Whenever we get very righteously energized to denounce or attack (verbally or otherwise) a person or a group, let's remember to look within - what dark aspect of ourselves are we trying to disown?
     Studying oneself, with steady awareness & gentle acceptance, is a continuously humbling experience. It makes one less & less judgmental of others, and more & more grateful to all those who put up with us while we were even less civilized than we are today. 

     "Be kind, for everyone is carrying a heavy load."

Near Mahone Bay, NS

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