Disempowered by dualistic thinking

I don’t think it’s helpful to view opponents (dare I say enemies?) in dualistic terms. Framing conflicts in terms of good people versus bad people is disempowering in many ways. It downplays the possibility that your opponents can change. It also downplays the probability that you’re not as different to them as you’d like to think you are. Real people are often a mix of black and white. Often people participate in evil, not because they’re intrinsically evil, but because they’ve been caught up in group think or some other form of moral disengagement. And because that’s very human, it’s something we all have the capacity for. That’s where humility needs to come in. It’s why Jesus stressed the need for humility. It’s because “there but for the grace of God go I”. Now, is this to excuse evil behaviour? No. But it does suggest we should refrain from dehumanising or demonising our enemies. And that we should always hold a door open for the possibility of reconciliation. Reconciliation is not a given, it is not always even likely, but I like to make sure the possibility isn’t closed off from my end.

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