Many people complain about the unhealthy division in America, neglecting to remember such powerful, antagonistic divisions with regard to the presidency of Adams and Jefferson, the hate for Lincoln, the division over Wilson, who was called one of the four great fools of history, and the hate for Nixon. Be that as it may, how do we bridge the gap so we can talk to one another?
Since my wife is legally blind, we listen to a lot of great history, philosophy and theology courses on Audible about Europe, China, India, Japan, Women, religions, etc. Several courses touch upon the same people in history. One course talked about the infamous villainy of Heloïse and Abelard, while another course was an advocate of their romantic love in the years from 1115 AD until 1119AD. Why is there such a wide diversion regarding the same historical event? Because people are naturally divided by the focus of their fields of expertise, where they live and their cultural experiences, among other things.
By the way, the professors had a clear understanding of their topic, but one admired the romantic affair while the other one understand that Abelard was so man-centered (anthropocentric) that his powerful ideas shaped Jean Jacques Rousseau, who shaped Karl Marx who shaped both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The second professor looked at the defective theology of Abelard understood that Abelard had his illicit, tragic affair because he couldn’t fathom Divine Revelation since he was so wrapped up in his myopic obsession with a 17-year-old girl.
The professor who loved the romance discussed several women in history who had to spend their final years in monasteries. But, the truth of the matter is, the reason they wrote such great books was because they had time to write in monasteries. If you’re intelligent, as they were, you can accomplish much in isolation. Paul wrote some of his great letters in prison, John Bunyan wrote PILGRIM’S PROGRESS in prison, Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn wrote in prison, and the list goes on and on.
One of my sons lives for all practical purposes in paradise, whom I love dearly, where there hasn’t been COVID for months and isn’t locked down, and which has very little criminal or rebellious activity. It’s easy for him to think of a state with no crime needing no police. His opinion is completely different than the two of my children, whom I also love dearly, who live in Los Angeles where there’s been a breakdown in civility, an exponential increase in crime and frightening stories of home invasions, robberies and murders because of the defunding of the police.
How do you bridge that gap?
As I used to tell my children, if you’re intelligent, you will not get bored even if you’re locked in a cell, and if you’re intelligent, no place is boring and no place is not worth living.
We need to break out of our solipsism before we can break out of division and into unity. We need to show interest in the other person’s point of view. We could also study history, no matter what conclusion we reach.
There have been a flood of very Anti-American, pro-progressive movies as well as extremely pro-patriotic, conservative movies. These types of movies usually don’t do well, but the flood of them indicates people are so locked in their vision that they’re incapable of seeing the vast diversity that unites us: E pluribus unum!
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