We usually speak with curled fingers.
We were checking out a house to buy yesterday afternoon and the current owner had a big bumper sticker on the back of his bubba truck alleging that all Democrats are spineless wimps. Knowing some very principled and active democrats, the lesser part of me wanted to take it up with him. (Wisely, the lesser part of me did not get the better part of me.) During my morning mediation today, it dawned on me that such a judgment comes from inside his corner of the world. Democrats, as he sees things, do not pursue his political agendas, and are therefore wimps. To flip the coin, one could say that Republicans are wimps because they meekly toddle after a rogue President who has co opted the Republican party to sell it to the NRA. However, that flip of the coin would fall to the same criticism. It, too, speaks from a corner of the world. Both accusations are hurled with curled fingers—you know, the three fingers that are curled back toward the speaker who is pointing at someone. When we speak about others we do so from our own corner of the world, and so we reveal much more about ourselves than the one about whom we speak.
Maybe the solution is to uncurl the fingers and extend the hand in greeting rather than accusation. Then, perhaps, we can muster the courage to step outside our corner and see how our own hands have built it, and what an illusion it really is.