It amazes me that we’ve (as a species) managed to create colloquial musings and messages for profoundly complex things.
“Don’t compare scars.”
“You are a pot calling the kettle black.”
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Why and how have these statements permeated the unconscious of our religious and fictional subtexts since the creation of language?
I’ve spent a vast amount of time driving on open road across the continent I’ve inhabited since being thrown into sentience some 20+ years ago, chasing an eternal carrot, watching the crowd change and move, mosh and dance, laugh and cry. We find solace in imperfect men and women who have been placed on a pedestal by the tides of society and industry, talent and luck. We foam at the mouth like rabid, unhinged animals when false idols find themselves in the echo chambers of the internet for being just as human as the human beings who worship them. We are addicted to the failure of others as a means of numbing how complicit and meandering our own lives have become.
There is a deep, unwavering irony in all of this. That we have the audacity to take to a touch screen or a keyboard and blast those we don’t deem worthy of love and acceptance because of sin makes us just as bad as those committing acts of evil. That we can be ignorant to the point in which we try to measure our suffering against the suffering of others is indicative of the fracturing righteousness of our society.
Culture will not progress if we continue to attempt to correct improper, immoral, oftentimes learned behaviour with heavy tongues and hearts. Not a single person has ever bettered themselves because a group of people grabbed their proverbial torches and pitchforks and chased them into the high hills.
We are all guilty. We have all acted out of malice and chosen to hurt people consciously, with intent. To measure the impact of the suffering we have caused individually against the suffering someone else has caused is a fruitless and egoistic endeavour, comparable to retching without vomit.
As Carl Jung said, “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Our physical evolutionary process is complete. We are self aware and conscious. We have built churches and skyscrapers, found cures and vaccines. We have been to the moon and inhabit ships built by man that orbit us in space. The only way our species will continue to flourish and survive is through acknowledging and meeting the evil we all possess. It is imperative to our existence that we understand the parameters and intent of our darkness. To actualize that we are just as capable of committing the sin we defame is the first step toward leading with empathy and godliness when facing acts of visceral violence.
We are all imperfect. We all fall short of who we want to be. The moment we can put ourselves in the shoes of those we deem unworthy of redemption will be the moment we regain control of the spiral we’ve found ourselves in.