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Radical Love for Humanity: Outsmarting Our Tragic Flaw

I've written a piece to explore what I've been learning about humanity, race and our experiences of trauma, "Radical Love for Humanity: Outsmarting Our Tragic Flaw" at:  As we watch the horrors from Ukraine, let's not overlook that the muscles of humanity are becoming stronger.

Here's an excerpt:

Being human, with brains formed for both connection and deep cognitive reasoning, we are capable of more than we can imagine. We have been wired to feel great empathy. While we’ve indulged our fears and our base animal impulses throughout history—subjugating one another to brutal treatment and turning a blind eye to suffering—there have been many instances where we have cast our collective vote to extend the ripples and muscles of humanity. The Freedom Riders, white and Black, put their lives on the line, enduring beatings and firebombs, to stand up against injustices in interstate travel. Frederick Douglass applied his courage as an abolitionist, while also supporting Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was credited with initiating the women’s suffrage movement in the United States.  One of the most stunning acts of compassion occurred during a right-wing No-To-Marxism rally in Berkeley, California when a right-wing protester fell and was being beaten by left-wing anti-fascist protesters. Al Letson, host of the investigative radio program Reveal, jumped on top of the guy to protect him because, he said, he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.

We can find brave, self-reflective teachers to learn with, who can help us find the path to our inner source of wisdom, our internal locus of knowing. Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos wrote a couplet to address his literary community for their negativity toward his poetry as a gay man:

what didn’t you do to bury me

but you forgot that I was a seed[1]

We’ve been buried by our tragic flaw, and yet we are seeding a new world. It is not a world of shrinking away, but one of stretching—to face the truth of our reality, bravely name the emotions that surface in us, sit with them as they inform us, then take bold, compassionate action to ignite our future. In other words, we need to own our inner authority. It’s the part of us that is able to pay attention, notice when our protections self-sabotage, and understand their deeper questions. We will inevitably short-change ourselves—or over-function—as we sort through the voices and examples of the people from whom we’ve imprinted. Yet we will act from a place of resilience, internalizing that we are not what happens to us. Our stories are uniquely ours.

[1] Xiao, An. “On the Origins of ‘They Tried to Bury Us, They Didn't Know We Were Seeds.’” Hyperallergic, 3 July 2018,

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