Keith Kahn Harris

Metal Jew

Great article on civility

Comments Off on Great article on civility

Charlie Bertsch’s wonderful article published on the Souciant website describes how he developed a convivial and respectful relationship with a neighbour who’s political views were the polar opposite of his. It’s important to be reminded from time to time that everyday relationships can subvert the ideological chasms dividing us. People who cannot live side by side in the abstract can sometimes live side by side in reality. Here’s an excerpt:

…despite taking a dim view of my neighbor’s ideological commitments, I am deeply grateful for having had him as my neighbor and especially for having taught me how to be a good neighbor. I may not feel as comfortable as I once did telling my fellow leftists to stop preaching to the converted, but this caution goes hand in hand with more modest advice. Outreach has to start with the search for common ground.

You already share one thing with your neighbors. The challenge is to use that fate, the accident of proximity, as the basis for finding others. As sympathetic as I am to the critique of humanism, my experiences living in Arizona have taught me that sometimes it’s still worth insisting that our humanity has the potential to transcend all political and economic divisions. At bottom, the concept of the good neighbor is a testament to this belief.