I know I’m supposed to hate you. I know I’m supposed to be angry. I know I’m supposed to want revenge. I know I’m supposed to demand justice at any cost. I’m supposed to raise my middle finger, tell you I’m not afraid, hunt you down, and blow you up. I know I’m supposed to think you’re the bad guys and we’re the good guys. I know I’m supposed to think you’re evil.
But the truth is, I mostly just think you’re lost.
A bunch of lonely, scared, and powerless little kids, grown up into big kids who are determined to make everyone else feel scared and powerless for a change. A band of brothers, finding belonging by destroying everyone you’ve told yourselves does not belong. The next in a long list of tribes, fighting over the same ancient lands. A people who have decided the best defense is a good offense.
In other words, you’re the human ego, personified.
And the human ego—while formidable and dangerous and violent and corrosive and heartbreaking—is completely predictable. It creates tribes and then wars against every other tribe, because it finds some sense of security and certainty in this way of living and dying. It destroys everything along the road to power, because it believes power will solve all of its problems. And when power doesn’t fix everything, it fights for more. So, you’re going to come for all of us other tribes. And your ego is going to trigger our collective ego.
The script is so formulaic you couldn’t sell it to Hollywood.
We’re going to fight back mercilessly. We’re going to vow to find you and put an end to you. The problem is, though our machines are bigger than yours, your zealotry is bigger than ours. So, there will be no winner. No victor. Just more death. And more ego. Because ego feeds on conflict. Together, we will become co-creators—we will birth another generation of scared and powerless little kids growing into another generation of angry and violent and hateful big kids. Together, we’ll write another chapter in this story of human self-destruction.
So, I’m hoping, this time, we’ll shake up the plot a little.
This time, we’ll choose not to fight back. We’ll forgive you, because you know not what you do—no one who is operating entirely from their ego knows what they’re doing, it’s a kind of blindness, a mindless madness. We’ll look to the heavens in despair and wonder why the power of Love appears to have rendered itself so heartbreakingly powerless. We’ll feel the grief of our losses, not for a day or two, but for a week or two. A month or two. A year or two. However long it takes to sink into the grief of our imploding humanity. We’ll grieve until our grief merges with yours. Until we feel the loss of your people, as if they were our own. Because the truth is, they are. We live on one rock and we are one people.
No matter what our tribal ego tells us.
Of course, the reality is we’re probably not going to do any of that, because though our collective ego is more refined than yours, it’s just as big. And, if I lived in Paris right now, I probably wouldn’t do that, either—my survival instinct would probably kick in, too. I just know, as I look backward at the carnage of human history, doing the same old thing isn’t working. And it bores me to tears.
I just know, it might be worth crying tears of a different kind for a little while.
For a long while.
Because our wisest actions always arise from our weeping, not our warring. If we are willing to make the inward journey into our grief, we might find that place inside of us in which our tears have washed away the illusion of our separateness. We might find that place inside of us from which we are capable of doing even better and more beautiful things than we tend to do.
Another Human Being
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