Hitler Was Ticklish
I have no actual idea if that’s true, of course. Linkbait, I confess. But my point is a real one: the most horrible people are still people.
That’s so hard to wrap our minds around, isn’t it? That someone who can do the most awful things to innocent people was once an innocent person.
We want to call them monsters and inhuman, but the very problem is that that’s wrong. They are human. They are like us. That’s exactly what makes terrible human behavior so terrible.
Glennon points out that to “let it begin with me,” as the hymn goes, we have to “weed our own gardens” – we have to make sure that we’re not letting little seeds of anger and fear grow inside ourselves. Definitely. But I think we also have to keep remembering that everybody else has their own garden too.
Think for a minute about your “weeds” – the things that make you the most ashamed and guilty, the most sad and afraid, the most angry and bitter. The things that make you blush, make you duck your head, make you avert your gaze, make your heart race, make your hands fist, make you shake.
They won’t be the same as mine. I won’t understand why they affect you the way they do. But the depth and strength and power of your feelings – that’s mine. That’s everybody’s. The unfortunate thing is that none of our reasons for them are the same, so we believe we can’t relate to each other.
The worst person you know has had moments where they felt as silly, as happy, as peaceful, as you ever have. They’ve also felt as lonely, as worried, as lost.
The difference is what each of us choose to do with our feelings. And the difference in that – the reason why some of us can stay afloat, while other people sink – might be whether we choose to help each other remember our sameness.