All my life I’ve had the uncomfortable feeling that I never really knew what was going on.
Instead of dissipating, (which I hoped/ expected to be the case), the further I progress along the mortal coil, the more this observation holds. In fact there’s a recognition of such massive complexities around me that any given situation seems so far beyond comprehension or opinion as to be almost out the other side.
The enormities of my un-knowing have reached so far that I stopped watching the news several years ago. Now it seems radio too is so steeped in judgement that all I pick up is the judgement itself, and not the content. So again, I reach for the ‘off’ button.
Conversation on current affairs sees me backing into corners. Asked for an opinion, all I can offer is ‘it’s more complicated than that’. Because I know it is. There are truths, more truths, individual and collective truths. And all the feeding and steering in between, that we participate in and strengthen with each opinion voiced.
I’m conscious that this could sound like an anti-propaganda rant; an anti-them, us-against-the-state stream of bitterness. But it’s not that.
I’m looking at the judgement we seem to enjoy so greatly.
How would it look if our urgency to express an opinion, to belong in a camp of thought, to be on this side or that, wasn’t such a driving force? I’ll bet the content of articles on our news programmes would change. It seems to me that each news article exists primarily to create judgement, to generate strong feeling. And I suspect that without this driving force, the programmes might disappear altogether. I wonder.
My son is saturating himself with history. He knows so much about world war 2. More, and differently, I suspect, than those who participated in much of it. How confusing that must be to them. We talk about war crimes. We discuss judgement, and punishment. The need people have to punish for a crime committed in a different time, a different place, an altogether different set up, that we really can’t comprehend, in the here and now.
I wonder about that.
I wonder if the reason we object so strongly call so vehemently, isn’t purely the fight to have one’s opinions venerated and accepted. And if it has anything at all to do with the crime itself.
I hear there’s a Buddhist philosophy of ‘no blame’.
I like that. No blame. If we removed blame, what are we left with? A little empathy, perhaps, some compassion, an effort to understand, to deal with, to mend, learn, and grow? Is that really so scary?
I don’t know. I know less and less. But it’s worth considering.