Sunday, 16 September 2018

Prejudice, the Individual, and "Aphorism 4"

Sepia photograph of Belgian royals visiting the Congo in colonial times.
I've had a generally good response to my recent posting of my “Maxims & Aphorisms”, which is good. There's still a lot of them to come – I've done a few of each, and there's actually 12 of each in the full collection (so far). Healthy debate has sometimes been sparked, and others have provoked general agreement or support.
The one I posted last Saturday, however, Aphorism 4, has provoked pretty emotive reaction. Indeed, to me it seems more so than the reaction to Maxim 4, which I perfectly expected to be controversial in some circles.
To save you the trouble of clicking through (though following the link above will allow you to view it in all its “text overlaid on a stock image” glory), Aphorism 4 reads as follows: “Every prejudice that exists in your society is a part of you. To deny it is to refuse to fight it.” Challenging, yes, but some of the reaction has been, rather than that of being challenged, that of being attacked. Some Friends, mostly American as far as I can see, have seen it as an extension of the “all white people are racist” attitude that they have felt regularly attacked by. I do not mention the nationality of those Friends to disparage them or their nation; rather, observing that perhaps social discourse in that country has led to a different reaction than might be found elsewhere.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Divine Love

Love is so much more than the romantic sort. We have known this for a long time, but we tend to forget it. We have the love of family, of course, and that is well understood, but love without context generally refers to romantic love, or euphemistically to sex, as in physical “acts of love”. We have love songs, and love stories, and (more's the pity) Love Island.
Love is more than wanting to be with someone, more than caring deeply for some specific individuals. It is more than selfless devotion to a lover or a child. There is love in fast friendship, love in care for anyone. There is love throughout life, if we allow there to be.
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