Yesterday I watched Jordan Peterson, clearly in some angst, as he gave what was truly a sermon, perhaps the first he has actually given in the the ocean of wisdom he has dropped into our tangents over the years.
It is short and it it is vehement, and as I watched it I found myself becoming indignant. But how wrong I was and what a powerful lesson it was for me.
For the truth is that the battle we are facing is not between ourselves as humans, and we must believe that even the darkest deeds being done are by people who deserve our compassion. What we need to keep clear in our crosshairs is Evil, the darkness, and not those who carry it forward remembering, as Solzhenitsin put it so well, that a thread of evil runs through all our hearts and may obscur our own vision. The many divisions that polarise humans and bring them into scornful conflict are born of the interests of evil. Sometimes it is obvious – a billionaire giving money to an organisation which in the name of racial equality generates race hatred – sometimes it is less so – often a product of years of social manipulation.
It may seem trivial but the distinction between hating a man and hating his actions is as profound as it could be. It’s an error I admit I have fallen in to at times, and I am grateful for this timely reminder.