Monday, September 12
Monday, September 12, 2005
Political rhetoric, especially when fused with hard-line theology, can become a rigid shell that obscures genuine feeling and the actual needs people have for security, certainty and so on. Both parties in debate become demons rather than human beings to one another, and nobody sees his own part in escalating conflict and distorting communication. Each side reacts to what it perceives in the other, which is itself an exaggerated reaction, and the escalation of hardened masks eventually becomes robotic and dehumanizing on all sides. At some point, people snap out of it, as if waking from a trance, realizing the masks they have put on to frighten the other side are not who they really are. Sometimes that happens only after a huge amount of suffering and sacrifice. Perhaps if more people learned how the process works, if they had an accurate map of conflict, they'd be able to avoid some of that damage.