Posts Tagged: "David James Duncan"

Commit The Neighbor = Me Fiction Until…

One of our greatest human traits is compassion, which means, literally, “to suffer with another.” But this high art is seldom born in an instant as a response to watching the TV “news,” or even in response to firsthand experience.

More often compassion’s seeds are sewn via a preliminary magic known as empathy.

And empathy begins with a fictive act:

What would it be like to be that black girl four rows in front of me?  a little white girl wonders in school one morning.

Her imagination sets to work, creating unwritten fiction. In her mind she becomes the black girl, dons her clothes, accent, skin, joins her friends after school, goes home to her family, lives that life. No firsthand experience is taking place. Nothing “newsworthy” is happening. Yet a white-girl-turned-fictitiously-black is linking skin hue to… Read More

So The Whole World Falls In

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Evangelism as embodied by Jesus… implies the all-embracing love evident in Mother Teresa’s prayer:

May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.

Not just her fellow nuns, Catholics, Calcuttans, potential converts. The whole world.

It gives me pause to realize that, were such a prayer said by me and answered by God, I would afterward possess a heart so open that even hate-driven zealots would fall inside. There is a self-righteous knot in me that finds zealotry so repugnant it wants to… Read More