Sunday, June 18, 2017

politics, and the lesser within us

I empathically leap, and feel, soiled. . .

within my values,
I often elder myself,
I push myself, 
sure that if I but work just a bit harder,
that I can understand where another is coming from,
then sympathize,
maybe even empathize,
I can then feel that the universe they see
is just a bit different from mine,
that their point-of-view just values the inputs differently,
that at a deep level,
at a place to which I can empathically leap,
I can see and justify reasoning with which I disagree,

however, now my values hijack me into judgment:
truth is not relative and fungible but clear and not to be denied,
facts exist, and denial of facts is not worthy of the brain with which we are gifted,
the climate is changing, that’s not up for debate,
what can be up for debate is whether government or business
can be the prime mechanism to clear the way forward to deal with the problem,
I just cannot deny that facts exist—
this was a ridiculously warm North Carolina February:
ice-sheets melt, sea-levels rise,
any who deny those truths deny facts,

furthermore, I just can’t empathically leap into
ridiculing and hating the other:
that seems to me a juvenile reaction,
not worthy of us, or even the juvenile,
not worthy of understanding in any way, 
any way that can allow such hate and belittling to exist,
right now judgment rings truer to me than empathy,
I want to shout that it’s time to grow up, America,
time to realize that the lesser within us should not be empowered,
that all we can get when we make an empathic leap
into the world that is true for a hater,
is that we will feel soiled, that we will feel lesser,

it’s time to grow up, America, 
self-indulgence is not who we are at our best,
we can be greater when reason and love can transform us,
and we can then reach toward the greatness 
that that of the God within us demands.

one of my students saw t-shirts in Gatlinburg
and described them as "casual hate,"

we should be better than that.

by Henry H. Walker

March 1, ‘17 and June 18, '17

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