PARADOXICAL

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

 

Blame Him


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(Sorry to the owner of this painting)

Blame this guy for my politics.

I love this guy, but not in that way. Blame him for how I regard the poor in our midst. Although I consider myself poor, too, I am talking here of the unbelievably poor, the scandalously poor. This is already beyond victimhood.

Blame the guy because he has changed me. I just can’t sleep while there are people scouring the garbage dump for food, street-children risking themselves in the streets for a few coins.

This stance can be easily mistaken as leftist, Marxist, liberation theologist. But no, this guy taught me to thirst for justice, yes, but in peace.

There’s the rub. That’s the difference. In peace.

How do I that? Frankly, I don’t know how. It’s so easy to be angry. And it feels good to blame others, to blame the poor themselves, and then to acquit ourselves, when all of us most likely have contributed to this mess. A society that bears such graphic evidence of how low it has sunk is one guilty society, a society deserving of the very violence it has inflicted.

I don’t know, maybe this guy can show us the way. It would be good to discern his formula. Or maybe it’s too intricately complex already for us to entangle anything, to ever come anywhere closer to how would have wanted it.

But the problem is he wants us to always hope and for things to be done in peace. Maybe that means leaving all the job of justice to him? I don’t know. What’s important is immediately freeing up anyone from the yoke of dehumanizing poverty. It’s not fair to allow these things to happen. It’s not fair, not the least to any human being of whatever faith or political persuasion.


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