The Norman Transcript

May 19, 2013

What hope for our humanity’s predicament?


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Well, what is it, this “predicament” of ours, our humanity’s? What’s behind or underneath this predicament, this predication, this saying before or is it a “before saying?” Ah, that might be getting closer to what we now mean by a predicament, an impinging or trying situation.

Did our humanity get into this trying time because we didn’t speak before it happened, even when we saw it was going to happen, almost pre-saying it, predicting it? Some would say so, and some would say they themselves warned us or their ancestors did long ago.

What then is our “predicament?” Some would say that we are too tied to our past and, therefore, limited by it. Others would say that we have disowned our past, moved beyond it too much and, therefore, have lost its nurturing benefit.

Strange, isn’t it, that we put so much or so little emphasis on our yesterdays and blame or credit them for our todays and our attitudes toward the possibilities and probabilities of our tomorrows. I think and feel and intuit that we need the value of where we have come from to understand where we are and to discern where we want to be. We need to pull it all together. Why don’t we? That’s part of our predicament.

If we look at our national politics or the politics of our nation in all its parts, we can sense this predicament. Others in their nations can do the same. We each need to peer into where we are and use our binoculars and magnifying glasses to discover the signs of our past still having helpful or harmful effects on our present.

Then we can share together what we are seeing. Only then can we try to figure out the way out of our predicament, only when we have uncovered how we got here. This is where joint effort is so important. It can’t be just “bipartisan” or “omni-opinioned.” It has to be a mutual search to understand what has been and what is together so we can get a better handle on the might be that we together want to be.

But how do you do that when each person tends to be biased by their own vision, their own discernment and their own interpretation of what they see?

We need to be willing to enter into the solving of the predicament with each our own willingness to change our mind and our feelings based on what we observe if we come to understand it as different from what we thought or presumed it to be before our mutual effort at discernment. Only then does the polylogue become creative and promising of “the more” that might be waiting to be unearthed. That “more” might indeed be very “other” than we ourselves or any one of us thought it was or was going to be.

Only then will the more full “right thing” emerge and indeed the whole will be greater and other than the sum of its parts, of its constituents. It’s the way the mix of ideas of persons come together in the pursuit that the most beneficial next step emerges. No one of us can take credit for the whole but only for parts of the whole, each of which may well have been transformed by the dialectic of a more full comprehension.

In a word or a few words, our humanity’s predicament is “stalement” (stalemated). We are becoming “stale” from not sharing our talents together around the world. We are more and more technically connected, even Skyping one another’s externality, but we are not really in touch with our own fullness of our own humanity, much less knowing and appreciating that of one another around the world or even in our own living places.

We are encapsulated in our own preferences, views, politics, religions, marriages or relationships, families, occupations or retirements. We need to continually “retread” ourselves so that we can each graduate again and again from where we have been to the potential of where we might be if we travel together and discuss and share our care along the way.

Joe Ted Miller

Norman