History bears tribute to those able to recognise the might that lies behind the challenges of diversity. What values a people hold is in constant evolution, and trying to force certain values to become permanent proves to lead to bigotry, ignorance, and in some cases; hate. A society which bears in mind that not everyone should be friends, but still converses with those of strong and mild difference of opinion has nothing to lose, and all to gain. This challenge, in an immense form, is what the western world faces today. Are we prepared to tackle this challenge, and collect the moral and ideological wealth that lies behind this challenge?
You may enter a political debate. Your views may be firm, or undecided. You might seek to defend a well thought-out political side, and stand firm. You may also be unsure and therefore seek enlightenment. Whatever part of the political spectrum you call your own, if indeed you have one, you are at a loss from the inception of the debate if your goal is not to change your mind. If two sides go at each other, both knowing that they will not change their position no matter the circumstances, then what can be gained? Seek not to maintain your views, but to uncover truth with your adversary in any discussion. The one who has this as the goal, not to remain as they are, but to enlighten the mind and pull away the veil of ignorance, will always gain.
Why is it that we have such resentment for evolving our values? Why is it that we rehearse our points until they occupy so much space in the mind there is a minimum of room left for understanding, and interpretation. Why is it that before the discussion begins, we have a belief so strong as knowledge that our opponent’s endeavour is to sabotage our case. Their intentions are unknown, so would it not be a more courteous gesture to give them the benefit of the doubt? Would it not at the very least ameliorate the situation by simply asking beforehand what their intentions are?
Arrogance, cruelty, stubbornness. These vices leave the mind only as ignorant as it was before, yet these characteristics also flourish in politics. Only when they are replaced with humility, compassion, and flexibility will we start to untangle ourselves from the web of deception. A web which we have so neatly made ourselves, for it is comfortable, and familiar. Alas, it gets us nowhere, and progress is on the horizon.
We are in the end individuals, and responsible only for our own well-being. At least as far as adults go. However, if we wish to be happy individuals in the society we live in, a society which yields a vast amount of possibility for projects and other endeavours, we must nurture our societies with virtues, and not poison them with vices. Our attitudes towards one another must not be of the siblings who constantly bicker over the same issue into infinity. Our attitudes must resemble the siblings when they realise, and accept their differences, only to become closer. For our community’s fruits to be good in both quantity and quality, it requires attention. These virtues of compassion, tolerance and integrity do not come easy. If anyone informed you so, they were themselves misinformed. What difficulty is presented is of little interest though, what is interesting is this: Are we prepared to give the best of ourselves in difficulty, or the worst of ourselves in comfort?
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