It’s too easy to have a cyborg heart. To identify with an idea at the expense of not seeing people. It is espeically easy to do this when the people standing to oppose you are old hats at dehumanizing.
I write this not as chastisment, but as a reminder to myself to always see the person under the rhetoric, the armor, the badge, the slogan. To know that they are subject to the same fears and hopes that pulse through my veins. That it may ne “selfish” from their point of view for me to practice emapthy by analogy, but if that’s the tool I have for synching up with their heart I’m going to use it, goddamnit.
The world doesn’t work, it seems, without the ideas and the externalities. Confusion sets in when a crowd of voices becomes cacaphony. Strive to see the forest and the trees.
Like any decent human being of the American persusasion I remained obsessed with the news out of Ferguson all weekend. If anything the events that unfolded since the arrival of Cap. Ron Johnson on the scene have only been more of a shock than what happened before. For a minute there, it really looked like the world wasn’t going to come apart at the seams.
Life, however, has other plans for me than just staying glued to Twitter—the only reliable news source left to us all, even if you have to bring some serious critical faculties to bear to use it—and that meant that I spent the weekend living in two very different worlds. In meat space I was helping a friend move-in to a new apartment, trying out virtual reality experiences, and cooking people brunch. Always a flick of the wrist away was the roller coaster horror show of militarized police, beleagued protestors, and angry young men itching for a fight with the cops.
It says something about the state of the world that I don’t expct this week to be any different. Which means finally developing the capacity to emotionally multitask. Sure, I could turn away from Ferguson. That would be easy, all I’d have to do is switch on Facebook and it would be as if it wasn’t happening.
Yet if all I can do is stand as witness, even from afar, that’s what I’m going to do.