I recently received an email that said:
I’m just not as clear as you are on who the good guys are and who the bad guys are in our current envorionment. I think you think you know but I’m not sure you're always right.
As with most well constructed critiques, after you get over the initial emotional sting, you self-reflect.
Do I think I know?
Which leads me to this:
I hope I'm not always right about anything.
If I am, or even think I am, that's a real deterrent to ever changing my mind.
Then I'm stuck.
I try not to label humans as good or bad.
If I do, that means humans are going to have a tougher time changing my view of them.
Then our relationship is stuck.
If humans have a tough time changing my view of them, I'm probably going to label some "good" things as "bad" and some "bad" things as "good" to keep my narrative consistent that good people do good things and bad people do bad things.
Then I'm all kinds of things including naive/ignorant/blind/hypocritical.
None of this, of course, means I don't have opinions on things like hate, violence, fear, consumerism, terrorism, security, compassion, love, grace, peace, immigration bans, and concepts like "good" and "bad".
I think these are important distinctions.
There are not bad guys. There are not good guys.
Your neighbor might terrorize you and the Muslim Syrian refugee might teach you about God.
The Muslim Syrian refugee might terrorize you and your neighbor might teach you about God.
Assuming we're all wrong on some things, maybe we can start talking about what terror is, what God is, and then learning how to see the possibilities for everything are in everyone, including you and me.