Two horribly contrasting images of people have lodged in my mind. There is the vile image and the poignant image.
There are the people who are okay (pleased, I dare say) with ripping children away from their parents, with taking healthcare away from children, with manifesting that vile thing that lives in them on the rest of us. These people can explain why they do these things, logically and with big words, and they can even expound on the purpose of boundless pain.
Unfortunately, this ease with evil is not new to our world.
There seem to be stories from every generation that reveal curdled hearts. These people, whose minds and souls are sealed within vast vats of self-serving rhetoric, cannot be fathomed. These are the people who, generation after generation, have enslaved, branded, burned, lynched, pierced, shot, macheted—and still they have the audacity to think that their actions are valid, have a purpose that is more than to manifest evil.
How does a person skip compassion? I understand the meaning of the term “dehumanization,” but its very inhumanity still boggles the soul.
I hate to say “these people,” but sometimes blanket statements feel necessary. And one more: These are the people who never find blame in themselves because these vile acts are what brings about the world they want.
Then there the people who touch you because there is no artifice to them. Their presence shakes you to contemplate that which makes a person good. The connectivity does not degrade or propel, rather it is the gentlest nod of inspiration to simply be in the moment, of the moment, expecting nothing gained, except the internal breeze of positive soul meeting positive soul.
Such interactions remind us that all is not bile and bluster. They remind us, don’t they, that generally it is children and the elderly, with no axes to grind or ladders to climb or ideas to prove, who let us settle into a shape that does not shift—a self we can find comfort within. They remind us, too, how important it is to have shelter for the soul—that there is within a place that cannot be invaded. To know that our core (and the core of so many) has not been corrupted. To know with solidity that a mind can mesh with another mind in respect that can be akin to love.
There are tears of sadness, and tears of joy.
There are pangs of pain, and palpitations of hope.
There is suppression that cannot smother.
There is the will to never succumb to the sordid nature of evil and hate.
There is hope to propel and prevail, for never is it all lost.
We must find, create, inspire all that may be a bulwark against all that tries to debase.
We are each other’s soul supports, especially now.