During the renaissance the ancient greek minotaur was reintroduced as a symbol of the struggle between a person’s beastly nature and the thinking self. Half man half monster, the minotaur was depicted attacking noble and frightened people. The monsters are not out there somewhere in the wilds of nature waiting to attack. The monsters exist in the maze of the human mind.
I fear we have lost site of this truth. We gather in groups against mutually agreed upon foes of other political parties and races: the Liberals and the Conservatives both do this, generally speaking. Each side stirs up hatred against the other, a union of spite, offering public proof there is no working together, that there is no national unity, and that our only hope for moving forward is all out war. This is stupidity.
Tribalism is a major tenant of our world, my team against yours, my school against yours, my religion against yours, my government against yours.
Tribalism is a horrible way to solve problems.
As a political nation we have allowed ourselves to supplicate our inner demons. We feed our monsters outrageous examples of failed decency among the three hundred million Americans to choose from, people who all make mistakes. The validity of the example is inconsequential. A quarter of of the population will emphatically agree with you and feel rage, a quarter of will strongly disagree with you and feel rage at your rage, and half the population doesn’t care about that at all. This other half, detached yet observant, shows us how they feel every voting cycle. This half of the population does not vote, because when they tune in all they see and hear from the politically motivated is hate and finger pointing.
If we apply the symbolism of the minotaur it is rather telling, isn’t it? Half human, half monster? Why don’t we reconsider which half is which?
The seemingly non-concerned half will eventually need to respond to all the fighting. When the more patient parts of humanity finally decide it is time to get involved in the struggle, the world will become a much more volatile and dangerous place.
We can stop the hate. I suspect if we offer the reasonable half of the population a solid attempt to solve problems, if we shift politics away from hate, then maybe the number of people who participate will increase. Maybe we can find some real solutions. It begins with each one of us.
When you feel hatred rising in your chest and feel it press into your brain, find love instead. Understand the motivations of people who upset you. Try to identify sources of conflict, and do not echo attempts to sell you outrage (outrage is a money maker).
Identify problems, and start talking about solutions instead. The monster can’t attack reasonable solutions.