Saturday, May 23, 2009

Name Calling

"When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist."
Helder Camara

I am quite moved by this insight. When we are challenged, we are inclined to defend ourselves by ad hominem name calling. It is much easier than dialoguing, and much, much easier than moving into action. Wielding weapons of words makes us feel powerful and righteous (self-righteous, that is). We scowl and then we gloat with pride at our point so well made. Unfortunately, if we indulge such ways, we accomplish nothing and we learn nothing. This is difficult for hungry children to understand.