My response to a question posed to me (the title) from Vivian Pencz, via facebook. All references to “us” mean her and I.
Romney’s politics disgust me, and being an avid dog lover (did I mention I’m a professional dog walker?) just makes it all worse, but ultimately, he’s a human being in the same way I am a human being. Our ideas and views on the world differ entirely, enough to make us ‘enemies’, and there’s nothing wrong with being really angry at people for doing/thinking things which one feels are not in the best interests for their respective communities, and if anything, it’s important to engage with our anger for just reasons, but at the same time, the greatest danger is losing sight of the inherent humanity of all people. I’m using the idea of a soul as a conduit for a discourse on humanity as a condition, though I do also feel all living things, including the earth, (minerals, etc) have energy to them, i.e a soul. In short, I do think Romney has a beautiful soul, merely for the fact that he is a human being. I do not connect the soul with any ideologies or ways of living that a person interacts with, but rather something inescapable as a pre-requisite for being alive. In terms of scientific evidence, I do not have anything to present, except the fact that energy cannot be create or destroyed, it can only change forms. Take that as you will, perhaps another discussion altogether, so back to this Romney business.
The views of people like Romney, Harper, Coulter, and their avid supporters, make me cringe, but losing touch with the fact that they’re still people with lives, histories, passions, pains, etc, puts me at risk of being just as disconnected from humanity at large as they are. When we are taught to look at a homeless person a piece of debris, that automatically disconnects us from the living, breathing nature of that person. They’re a person first and foremost, who for whatever reasons, happens to be homeless, and these reasons need addressing. You and I think this way, which is great, but why only look at the marginalized in this way? Why not look at Romney and think, he’s a person first and foremost, but one who’s impoverished when regarding insight into the varying conditions of human life. It is not to pity him, and not to say we should be less angry at his politics, which are disturbing, but rather that we can’t afford to forget that people are, plain and simply, people.
In the documentary Food Inc., there’s this small scale farmer who beautifully describes what I think is an absolutely crucial concept regarding life (i wrote it down as I was watching it, months ago):
“A culture that just views a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure to be manipulated by whatever creative design a human can foist on that critter, will probably view individuals within it’s community, and other individuals within that community of nations with that same type of disdain and disrespect and controlling mentality.”
The dangers of losing sight of the sacredness of a pig’s life are very grave when considering what’s ended up as factory farming, a style of farming which is sickening, most literally, to all involved, animals, workers, landscapes, and consumers. The danger of losing sight of the sacredness of human beings, any human being, is just as dangerous. If we cultivate enough hate, even those who vow to be against violence and injustice (us) can easily be swayed that way when the so-called enemy is dehumanized. History has proven this again and again. We have all the right in the world to be enraged at Mitt Romney, but we cannot deny him the sacredness of his humanity, or the beauty of his soul, because it’s the same as ours, the same as everyone’s.