Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 11, 2013

BRADBERRY: Paragons of Virtue, or Bastions of Evil?

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Instead of stooping so low to conquer, wouldn’t it be wise to stop and ask, “How does our intransigence help anybody; whose interests are actually being served, theirs, ours, or someone else’s?”

Is it possible that people on opposite sides of an equation might have some shared interests, which if mutually pursued might render rewarding outcomes beneficial to all concerned, or must their opposing interests always be mutually exclusive, in other words, is it ever possible that what is good for the goose may also be good for the gander?

Perhaps the Victorian era writer-poet, Samuel Butler, author of “The Way of All Flesh” was absolutely correct when he wrote, “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”

If ignorance is the disease, enlightenment is the remedy, but as history also teaches us, educated fools have squandered riches and brought down nations; unfortunately, stupidity seems to have no such simple cure.

If there are lessons to be learned from the tragedy of the towers, at least one of them might be that, if we as a people on this small, ever more crowded planet, beset by diminishing resources are going to survive, we will have to find better ways to resolve our differences.

Watching television news re-runs this week of that awful day, seeing the fresh video news images of the tragedies happening right now in the Middle East and beyond, it is difficult to understand how people can be so cruel to each other.

Yet I am constantly reminded that such human depravity is never far away, or so long ago, that our own history is replete with its own, that unchecked power, at any level can corrupt absolutely.

As Abraham Lincoln put it, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

We have indeed borne witness to that!

Whether it is a local election, or a conflict among nations, peace through enlightenment and understanding is always the better course.

Otherwise, as Mathew attributes Jesus as having said, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

Beware of the ditches ...

Contact Bill Bradberry at bill.bradberry@yahoo.com

Contact Bill at bill.bradberry@yahoo.com

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