Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Riven: A Lament Seeking Understanding

riven: [past participle of rive] torn apart, split, rent, severed, cleft, torn asunder. 

We as a people are riven. We are divided among ourselves by race, culture, politics, and money. Whether intentionally or ignorantly, we build and reinforce walls to separate us. Our frequent response to fear is to kill. 

We are fractured at every level. We are riven whether you're looking at race, religion, nation, community, or even family. We are torn and have come to believe this is the natural way of things. Maybe we have forgotten what it is to be whole. 

We are cleft from the land that nurtured us. We have forgotten our ties to the earth and fool ourselves into thinking we are somehow independent of the rest of creation. We have forgotten our wild nature, and believe the environment is only a political topic.

We have severed ourselves from our heritage. We believe only in the newest, fastest, shiniest technologies. We reject old ways merely because they are old, as if standing the test of time meant nothing. Our society has come to consider the educated young geek somehow smarter and better than the plumber or housekeeper who sacrificed to create his opportunities. 

We believe our church or religion is better because, well, it just is. We believe other food, other languages, other music, other perspectives are fundamentally inferior to our own. We cannot spend time together in a meal, a discussion, or just listening to a song. We no longer assume positive intent in others, and we judge motivations before we know facts. We are not diverse, but divided. Unity and harmony are forgotten in the wars against our enemies. And then we don't understand why our enemies are growing more numerous every day.

We are a riven people. We are torn asunder, bleeding, and ripped apart by our own hands. Tattered and torn we long for that which would make us whole again, if only we could remember what it is. 

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