Thursday, January 29, 2015

Humanity above all...pass it on.

While I don't think John McCain's speech on the CIA interrogation report ended with the line that truly expresses the intent of the speech, I just did it for him with the title of this it isn't lost.

We're getting deep here, but depth is where roots seek their strength and nutrients, and so shall we.

Torture exists in this world, and nearly any logical or feeling human on the planet will agree to it, not only for their own security, but for the security of their own friends and families whose lives might be affected should they NOT choose to oppose torture.  What a wonderful world it could be if we all began to act on our ideals instead of reacting with momentary lapses of judgement, misinformation, or ignorance.  There is room for good decision making when we take the time and step away from a situation, but having standards and ideals in place that guide our actions have the capacity to make these split-second reactions something that upholds human dignity and respect for human lives.

Like a song from the musical-turned-movie "Into the Woods" mentions..."you are not alone" but "they," whomever may be against you, "are also not alone."  "No one is alone."  We all have reason behind what we are doing, generally a belief that we are right and that anyone against us is wrong.  This, of course, is a dangerous way to think.  I encourage people to seek out information, challenge you own ideas.  It doesn't mean they will change, but give them the possibility to grow and evolve.  This is why I prefer having open debate and communication about political issues.  Issues exist because we DON'T all how can we understand one another better if we are not willing to be respectful of the other side?  How can we ask them to understand our side?

This is not only true within our own countries and their political systems.  This is also relevant on a global scale.  We are all unique individuals, and also members of one giant human race.  We couldn't POSSIBLY agree on everything (and how boring the world would be if we did), but because we do not agree, perhaps a better goal than to agree is to seek to understand.  I do not like the fact that there are people who do not know me that want me wiped out because I am from where I am from, but I recognize that there must be some guiding factors that have brought those people to that conclusion.  How can I change their opinion if I don't know what it is or how it was formed?  How can I show them that they were misinformed if I don't take the time and energy to understand what they were informed, in order to seek out a way to resolve it?

This basic idea is related to the very serious issue of torture for information.  When we do not respect where others come from (literally and/or figuratively), we are unable to communicate with them on any meaningful level.  We are unable to gain useful information and worse than that, their opinions and hate grows stronger because we show what they have been taught to believe?  It plays directly into the hands of their teacher.  In the scenario of torture, we have become the cruel ones.  We have become the lawless ones.  We have become the enemy to the security, safety, and peace that we aspire to.  And so, this speech by John McCain explains.  We are human, and therefore we deserve respect.  Anyone can be your enemy, but that should never be such a crime that you are willing to stoop below your level, to deny lawfulness and goodness, or to disregard the innate right to life and dignity that we all wish this, "no one is alone."

Let us act with the respect we would hope for in return.  
Let us remember the ideals that we stand for.

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