In the wake of the recent election, I have seen a war begin to brew. Not in the streets, nor in the air or the sea, but rather on modern estates of ownership: Facebook.
I fear I have witnessed the end of our civilization. Not by war, by bullets or bombs, nor factions and violence. But rather, by a fungus that threatens us from our very core. After all, a society isn’t a physical thing that can be destroyed. They bombed London, but she still stood proud. They took out our towers, but we still stood strong. Our modern materials are strong enough to withstand the greatest blast, but our hearts and minds are still vulnerable to the primordial rot of fear and non-sense. A rot that spreads to others. A rot that grows stronger within us. A rot that eats at our logic and destroys our sensibilities until we no longer seek to be community, but instead prey on each other for validation.
And the inoculation to this disease? Compassion. Understanding. Love. Even now, I can see you recoil, not unlike the way bacterium recoils when it is attacked by your leukocytes. And I understand. You don’t want love. You want safety. You, the war-worn and cynical reader, whose mind is riddled with wounds of confusion and whose heart is riddled with scars of betrayal. You, the reader who has grasped so tightly to your reality and its facts that it dismisses the simple notion of love as a bygone fantasy best left in the literature of a high school English text book.
Instead of understanding the other person, the other human soul who stands before us (if not in our very household, under the branches of our family trees), we justify our hatred. We set rhetorical traps, flaunt our ideologies, and taunt their responses behind an impenetrable armor of righteousness. All this is enabled by an incomprehensible amount of factors, varying in reach and severity, of which include: A media driven by profit and fueled by advertising time, philosophies which have taken to swords and shields in lieu of scholars’ caps, promises by charlatans with laurels on their head and the feet of vagabonds, and our very own insecurities.
We (the collective “we” including all my brothers, sisters, and variations thereof) are not soldiers on the battlefield. We are soldiers marching to it, dehydrated and parched and yearning for nutrition. Should we be flanked, the enemy will win because our core is compromised. How can we stand and fight for our beliefs if our own legs are weary from the journey? If the left leg and the right leg are at war? How can we expect this frail human form to house this precious soul if the very cells that make up the body squabble and bicker over their position in the body!? We are dooming ourselves before we even lay sight of the enemy, because it is this rot which has taken hold and made us nothing more than a self-loathing mass ready to self-destruct at the mere mention of an opposing view!
Unless we inoculate ourselves with love.