There are certain principles that must be adhered to, including specific beliefs, attitudes and values, if our species is to avoid self-destruction. The following paragraph from May Hymowitz’s review of Reihan Salam’s book Melting Pot or Civil War contains a sample of what the closing scenes of our human melodrama might look like if we continue to ignore reality.
“Everyone knows who the enemy is, or thinks he does: One side points at ethnonationalist racists who cheer budget-busting walls, Muslim bans, caged children and deportations of hardworking parents whose only crime is wanting a better life. The other side sees self-deluded elitist hypocrites who condone criminal border-crossing and extravagant social spending as a way of supplying cheap labor to look after their children and clean their homes—while telling an ailing law-abiding white working class that its time is up.” (1)
If one half of the American community sees the other half as the enemy (the other) then mental and physical violence will continue to rend the social fabric necessary to hold us together. Ignoring reality promotes unconsciousness and feeds our existential fear. Notice in the following paragraph how during the Vietnam era both sides of the controversy were out of touch with the reality of what was happening but were sure their version of the truth was correct.
“Sometimes revolutionaries wear the white hats as they struggle to overthrow a corrupt South Vietnamese regime and rid their nation of American invaders bent on controlling their destiny. In other accounts, Saigon and its partner in Washington valiantly defend a flawed but democratically minded South Vietnam from Communist forces determined to subject it to Stalinist tyranny.” (2)
Many of us can understand that the beliefs, attitudes and values revealed by the two previous paragraphs are incompatible with a sustainable American community and will continue to create considerable suffering if not self-destruction. What insights could help us begin the process of healing a conflicted and violent community? How can we begin to transcend ideological warfare?
One place to begin our dialogue would be our religious institutions. All of our religions could be modified to honor the teachings that they all have in common. These universal truths could then form the basis for a common narrative that would unite all of the peoples of the Global Village in a paradigm shift which is the only path to peace that we have. Coming together in a community which realizes that we are all fundamentally alike would leave any residual conflict to those who are clinically ill. As it stands today a great deal of human behavior is self-destructive, that is to say, insane.
Insight # 67: You are not at the mercy of the past, or of previous convictions, unless you BELIEVE that you are. – Seth
- Hymowitz, Kay. “The Immigrants.” The New York Times Book Review. November 4, 2018, page 23.
- Lawrence, Mark Atwood. “The Cruel War.” The New York Times Book Review. November 25, 2018, page 12.