Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rot in the Heart, Peace in the Hood

I just heard about the disgruntled feelings caused by Lynne Miller's comments in a Daily News article.

Please let me apologize for those of us who could be considered yuppies (I'm afraid I could be seen that way, even though I'm neither young or upwardly mobile. Let's just say, I see myself that way sometimes)

I think the writer made a snap judgement that I'm regretting. Well, I hope she is anyway because anytime you judge with dismissiveness you create lines of hostility that can go deep and don't help anyone. We already have enough lines of hostility. Elitism never does anything for civic harmony, does it? It's based on fear, which rots the heart more than anything else. Fear of difference leads to dismissiveness, and simply never helps.

Reality is so much more complex than we can conceive of, and so are people, and neighborhoods, and even bars. "Reviewers" don't like that very much, and deliberately scramble to reduce the big mystery into kernels of rhetoric that can lobbed at what seems odd or different, in the process betraying the source that created us all in such vast array.

What we need is faith in each other, and ourselves. We need an awareness of how similar we are in the most fundamental ways. Come on, it matters what kind of cup you drink from? Really? Don't diminish yourself that way, Ms. Miller. Please don't buy that. There is so much to appreciate when you scrape the surface, if that's your intent. Waste no more time on arrogance. We all exist for much better things.

Being by necessity a very humble sort of person, every time I leave my house I am blown away by the grace and character and wisdom I see in my neighbors, yuppies and all. I know they'll make mistakes, I know I will. I know that some of us will trip gracelessly over cultural divides we seem to lack the faculties to contemplate with any depth. I know, I've fallen there. Patience, please.

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