I absolutely love it when people write in and engage in debate. A blog can be a lonely thing when nobody tells you what they’re thinking when they read. When people don’t agree with you it’s an opportunity to reassess what you’ve said – or stand your ground.
I’ve been engaging in a debate with somebody about fear. She believes (I hope I’m right here, and not misinterpreting her) that some fears are negative and should be dismissed. For example, the fears that are disproportionate to the circumstances. Her example is the type of racism and human rights violations that were the result of the fears people experienced after 9-11.
I think it’s true the behavior was neurotic (and I think fear underpins all racism), but I don’t think the problem lies in the fear, I think it lies in what people do with it. They don’t process it, they just suppress it and act out neurotically.
It’s clear that she and I are not going to agree on this, but that’s fine. We’re both allowed to have our opinion. There’s plenty of space in the world for both of us. We’re at least in agreement that the reaction is neurotic.
In yesterday’s blog I drew comparisons between a Catholic culture and a Jewish one with regard to how children are nurtured. I’ve seen a few examples (from the outside) of Jewish families where children seemed loved and respected and promoted, and I made assumptions about the Jewish culture, which amounted to nothing more than generalizations. The problem with that is that it minimizes people’s experiences which don’t fit into the generalization. That’s not good. I don’t want to do that. I didn’t realize it until somebody wrote in and said he came from a Jewish family, and had in effect the experience I’d been ascribing to Catholic culture.
I told you I was clumsy. Alas I thought it was just with words, but it seems I was clumsy with my ideas as well. I’ve had lots of experience with Catholicism so I believe I speak with a degree of authority, but even then it was still my personal experience, seen through my own filters.
I’m suitably sobered, but also excited that people are engaging. I feel honored. Anybody else want to jump in here, or at any time, feel free. There’s a big welcome mat out for you!
If you want to read the debates – even to have your say – these are the two blogs: