I was particularly moved the events in Memphis but I was not surprised. The duly elected men of Memphis were charged with the authority and responsibility to serve as agents to reinforce safety and offer protection acted in manners which resembled hyenas descending upon a vulnerable cub. Even now in my description, I have ventured into the realm of dehumanization. The event was not surprising but has actually startled me as a growing empathy was for those who left their own humanity for reasons we have yet to fully comprehend.
A thriving pluralistic society depends on healthy interactions between individuals who are similar yet different. In our society, we are similar and I believe this to be so on the basis of our shared humanity. Human beings possessing the imago Dei and as such are persons. Romano Guardini, stated, “ “person” means that I cannot replaced by anyone else, that I am unique.” Individuals traversing our world are unique persons who are invaluable and possess a place in this vast adventure of life. Simultaneously, individuals are different. I am unique. You are unique. You and I diverge on the road of life to pursue interests, ideas, loves, and passions to discover purpose and meaning. The beauty of the human experience occurs when individuals with shared attributes and dissimilar interest come together to accomplish small and great feats. A more important feat occurs when individuals establish a relationship of mutuality and trust. I would hope individuals would see humanity in one another.
Our nation, and I really do not want to sound hyperbolic, is facing a crisis of humanity. There is a strong possibility this crisis has a strong correlation to the events of the past few years. Separation, millions confronting mortality, and increased mental health difficulties, have obscured our vision of the individual next door. The necessity of healthy social relationships have proved beneficial to the flourishing of a human being, yet when interrupted or threatened, problems can arise. Our perception of the individual who shares not only DNA but the fundamental character of being can not be clearly seen and as such, individuals choose to respond in ways, which in the long term, can prove detrimental.
Click the Logo and Become a Patreon to Read the Full Essay