Humanists don’t have a single book we look to for wisdom. We find wisdom everywhere. Case in point this quote from Dan Webster” “You have got to clean your own house first before you tell other people that they aren’t doing it right.”
Here is another one, this time from the Bible. And yes, we Humanists do read the Bible. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7. The point of this quote is that NO ONE is without sin.
I have been thinking about both quotes recently because in politics there is a lot of finger pointing going on and that finger pointing doesn’t help us to solve our problems.
As my mother always said, it takes two people to fight. If you are fighting mad at some group, you are part of the problem.
I understand why people get mad. They are scared. I’m scared too. The problem is, as Yoda said, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.” Our fear fed anger and hate doesn’t lead to effective problem solving.
If we are going to solve our problems reasonably, we must let go of the fear and anger that is preventing us from thinking rationally. The “other” side isn’t responsible for all the evil in the world. There is plenty of blame to go around. As my father always said, “no group corners the market in stupidity.”
We are all to blame and it’s time we start taking responsibility for our side of the conflict. No one is without sin. Don’t change the conversation when it’s pointed out that “your” side is doing something stupid or harmful. Take responsibility for the crappy things that are being done by your side and make it stop. Every side in American politics does crappy things. No group corners the market in stupidity. Let’s all clean our own houses.
When you meet someone you consider to be “other.” Instead of blaming them for everything that is wrong in the world, why not listen to them? There are good ideas on all sides and incredibly stupid ideas on all sides. In my experience, individuals all pretty much want the same thing. We are just being divided by politicians and pundits. Refuse to be divided. Reach out and listen. Don’t demand. Listen. Find common ground and then work together with your fellow Americans to solve the problems that our country faces.
After all, Dan Webster, The Bible, my mom, Yoda and my dad all taught the same thing. Look at and fix your own behavior first.
Jennifer Hancock is the founder of Humanist Learning Systems and the author of several books about Humanism. https://humanistlearning.com.