By David Ficarri
-Diversions With Dave-
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”- Atticus Finch, from “To Kill A Mockingbird” by the great writer Harper Lee.
With all the events happening, I’m sure the last thing you want to read is another person shouting at you high atop their moral soapbox so I’ll try a little different approach. Atticus is arguably literature’s favorite character.
The reasons are plenty but chief among them is his ability to comprehend why evil exists while never losing faith in humanity. Atticus recognized that all people have good and bad capabilities and tried to instill in his children that to clearly understand another human’s perspective, you have to “climb inside their skin”.
Trying to see the world through another human’s eyes is truly the most important thing to overcoming hate and division. If we all just took a little time to understand other people, we’d never completely eliminate hate, but we would certainly make the world a more peaceful and just place.
As we navigate these most turbulent times, perhaps we can all set down our swords of needing to be right and replace them with that kinder, more righteous approach. We all like to think we see the world as it is but in reality we see it as we are. The difference may seem subtle but it’s monumental.
Although I love every lesson Atticus taught his kids and subsequently the rest of us, I’m going to add a little different approach to the debate. The other half of seeing things from another human’s point of view is actually looking into their eyes and seeing another human. The crazy irony of us all wearing masks is often all we see are another person’s eyes. The eyes are truly the windows to the soul.
When you begin to see the face of humanity, your eyes allow that person to occupy a unique place in your soul and once that happens, all the goodness of the world follows.
You’ll see them with the same love, the same kindness, the same compassion, the same understanding, and the same moral compass that you possess. So, while some just see a uniform, others just see a color, and even more just see whatever they choose to see, we can and must fill the world with eyes that see other humans.
We see the world from their point of view but almost as equally we see the humanity that exists in the souls that are hidden behind those eyes. Now, I see a lot of anger and divisiveness going on right now.
Like you, I’m praying for calm and peacefulness because the forces of evil love nothing better than to divide us for their own pleasure. I can see those battle lines being drawn but I beg you to keep in mind that most of us are all on the same side. There’s always a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.
So, instead of letting the anger and hate consume you, be peaceful, be caring, be loving, be a great human...and be like a mockingbird.
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”