December 13, 2019-
Jack was right, to an extent.
The selection, by TIME Magazine, of Greta Thunberg as its “Person of the Year” comes as no surprise. The attacks heaped on her, by people of a certain age, also come as no surprise. It’s hard to face up to one’s failings, and even more so, to face up to collective failings.
There is no figure in human history who had escaped the wrath of the froward and despicable. It’s human nature to despise being reminded of what one has done wrong. It is human responsibility, however, to address shortcomings and make an effort to correct them.
Jack, of whom I know little, wrote a scathing letter, some five years ago, warning me that my attitudes on inter-gender relations were passe’, and that I would know no peace with women, until I recognized it and changed some aspects of my mindset. Time has passed and I have meditated, continuously, on this matter, gradually weaning myself of exactly the shopworn attitudes of which he was talking.
There is, however, a greater sense of obfuscation and gaslighting afoot, when critics of not only the great Divine Educators, from Noah to Christ to Baha’u’llah, but also more ordinary people, from the Founding Fathers of the United States, through Abraham Lincoln, to Mohandas Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Fred Rogers, try to focus attention on the flaws, both real and perceived, of such great souls. The Divine Educators were perfect Beings, so any disparagement of Them is a pack of lies. Those who are people of vision and fortitude will always incite anger and attract disparagement from those who prefer to wallow in self-pity. Light, to such people, is to be shadowed, made to seem like darkness.
There is a difference between the Jacks of the world, who speak truth even when it may be unpalatable, and the minions of moroseness (to quote Spiro T. Agnew, of all people). Those who wish to redress the wrongs of society are only too happy to see those wrongs corrected. Those who hate the great figures of the past, or the minor heroes of the present, are banking on the lower aspects of human nature to vindicate their own self-loathing.
Greta Thunberg, at her young age, ought continue to grow physically and intellectually, but ought never shrink from speaking truth-even when it may be unpalatable.