An enduring benefit from working across cultures, races, sexual orientation, body mass indices and beauty is an increased capacity to see myself in other people.
If you look closely then you’ll see that power-seekers have a tendency to focus on the wickedness of “them.” It’s an effective argument employed by the media, politicians and our leaders.
Pointing out “their wickedness” is so common that I search for teachers that are careful to avoid an appeal to wickedness.
My daughter and I were heading into the supermarket in Moab. People in the desert look different than people in Boulder.
Dad, dad… that homeless guy is stealing all the food.
Sweetie, look carefully, he’s taking his groceries to his car.
With her filters off, my daughter reminded me that I have some work to do.
The wealth effect of excessive living is obvious. However, if you look deeply then you’ll discover another, far more subtle, effect. You’ll be able to feel a separation between yourself and other people.
As you separate yourself, you will be prone to seeing “their wickedness.”
The physical separation is in plain sight – education policy, gated communities, exclusive clubs, athletic ability…
In Boulder, we don’t need gates, the price of real estate makes an effective barrier to entry, especially when combined with private school fees (so our children are protected from their children).
If you sit quietly then you will feel a deeper separation. It makes us miserable and allows us to be manipulated.
- Humility in my own needs
- Spending time outside my “tribe”
- Looking inwards at my tendency to hold myself separate
Later in the trip I asked my daughter…
Who gets hurt when you’re scared or angry?
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