The death of George Floyd and the protests it excited put a mirror before us. They are showing us how we relate to one another. If we don’t acknowledge what we see in the mirror on the wall, we will suffer much worse punishments than shattered shop windows.
Both the violent protests and the more peaceful demonstrations, where there were no agitators to provoke violence, stem from the same root: the need for warm human connection. But there cannot be any warmth between us as long as we think so negatively of each other.
Bad thoughts make bad things happen. And the worst thing there is, which makes the worst things happen, is human nature, or as it is written, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth.” We will not solve the many social problems in America (or anywhere else for that matter) because we don’t really want to solve them. We enjoy looking down on other people so we want there to be people with a lower social status than ourselves. Even if we’re unaware of it, we constantly compare ourselves to others. When our ego detects someone who is in some way better than us, it invariably makes us feel uncomfortable and we cannot rest until we either find a way to feel superior to that person, or drive that person out of sight and out of mind. Malicious envy is the evil inclination, and it will not let anything good happen in our society until we overcome it in our hearts.
If there is one thing we should be thankful for in all this malice that is bubbling up to the surface these sorrowful times, it is precisely that the malice is bubbling up to the surface. Now we can look at ourselves, acknowledge our true nature, and start working together on overcoming it and forming a truly united and caring humanity. It can happen, but only if we work on it together.
[Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash]