She observed that the more education they got, the less they could do.  Their father had gone to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and he could do anything.

Flannery O’Connor, in Everything That Rises Must Converge

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Politicians, Popes and public commentators would be wise to be better read.  We suffer gravely that they are not.

Take race for example.

Flannery O’Connor tells a story of a widow mother and her young college-educated son. They are Southerners and White.  She, raised in the segregated South, and he coming of age in the Civil Rights era.  A mother and son – separated by time and experience.

In the story, Julian and his mother are on city bus. He registers a silent contempt for his mother who harbors views of the world rooted in her segregated past.

Without any act on the mother’s part, Julian feels an “evil urge to break her spirit” – to humiliate her, punish her, embarrass her, hurt her.

A college “educated” liberal fellow – he feels superior, better … and bitter.  Yes, his experience has reduced him, more then her experience has reduced her.

In a subtle way he has the opportunity to belittle her, and he does.  In his righteousness he seizes an opportunity to laugh scornfully at her – yes, his sense of justice licenses him to hurt her.  

The product of his education?  Pride, arrogance, narrowness, hostility, anger, hatred, revenge, division, destruction, disregard for others.

All this education and love is lost.  Yes, ignorance takes root and hatred prospers.  Gone is wisdom and the simple ageless truth that love comes before justice.  

The fact of the matter is that Mr. Obama, Mr. Holder, Mr. Sharpton, Rev. Wright and their allies are as Julian.  That which does not rise does not converge.   

Without love – laws, regulations, policies, law suits, legal decisions, demonstrations, “political correctness” cannot prevail.  This a lesson the Left resists relentlessly.  Education, you see. 

Best to spend more time in soul-searching, in prayer and in one’s faith, than expect harmony to come from public lectures, actions or advocacy.

Kindness and consideration of the other is the first and indispensable step. Human problems are solved in the heart, far less so than in the head.

Faith anyone?  Be careful what you casually discard.

Shalom.     

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