For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want to do.

St. Paul, in Galatians 5:17

+ + +

As is so often the case in politics and in public policy, we talk loudly and endlessly about something and exhibit superficiality, lack of study, depth of understanding, ignorance, hostility, and fixed ideas that close out the voices or others.

Yes, too often in public discussion, we make enemies of one another and fools of ourselves and others.  Fact is we’re not too bright, and far, far from humble.  This, of course, only makes matters worse.

Think for a moment about comments you hear about race, particularly from those who present as the aggrieved and those who plan to “fix” our woes.  And think about public policy and the law and the legal structure that presently govern matters of race, and think about the extraordinary anomaly that those who point their anger at the police fail to focus on Chicago and other major cities governed by the Left where murders are almost always committed within racial groupings – that is, the aggrieved killing the aggrieved.

As to the individual, do we understand that each person is unique in the way they function and as to groups, each functions differently in some aspects?

Yes, there is considerable variation person to person and group to group.  So the idea of equality must be understood to be received differently person to person just as the experiences in life are.  Yes, there is common ground but there is not common, uniform result.  We are equal but distinct one to another.  Scared all.  Best we receive each person as such and not demonize anyone, or any group.

Apropos to St. Paul’s ancient words, we know that “Human rationality depends critically on sophisticated emotionality … (that) Reason and emotion must … work together to create intelligent behavior, but emotion … does most of the work.”  (See: Note, below.)

We also know that when a person’s emotion quadrant (the orbitofrontal cortex) fails them, despite having access to reason, their lives literally fall apart.  Our grand plans for equality and prosperity for all notwithstanding.  Our best response?  Love and help one another.

Our public mantra has been that equality of result is achievable and when it is not it is because of the hatred others have because of our race or gender.

Given what we know about the human brain and people, the idea of equality of result sows seeds of great frustration.  Worse, when variations of result are blamed on one racial group or gender – conflict, division and hatred result.  Such thinking is, and has been, fundamentally destructive.  We witness its violence today in the killing of police officers.

A more accurate and honest view of people must see that all people are valuable, all are God’s children, and just as we have different heights, tastes, personalities, skills, interests and such – we are to be received as we are: sacred beings, and treated lovingly and equally.

Bottom line?  Our ignorance stirs up trouble.  Better heed St. Paul – follow the Spirit –  reason informed by emotions, and faith in God and one another.

Shalom.

Note – The quotes within the text are from Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis, pg. 13.

Advertisements