Insiders and outsiders

February 16, 2013

I wrote a comment on the NYTimes website (a reply to replies to a comment I wrote last night to Gail Collins’ column) just earlier about my sense that we need to address our tendency to insist on forming groups and designating “insiders” and “outsiders.”  As I wrote, we instead seem to become serially indignant at the manifestations of this dynamic (and that that is like trying to cut heads off the Hydra).

I thought I’d link here to a song that helped me clarify this concept a long time ago.  It’s by Ralph McTell and called, I think, “Father, Forgive Them.”

I go back and listen to the line about how we are the ones who “make outsiders and it’s we who give them names” when I want to revisit my understanding of how pernicious and fundamental this mistake is.

It also includes the idea I find so helpful about trying to remember that other people are laboring under their own burdens and damage as they move through this world and our encounter of them.


One Response to “Insiders and outsiders”

  1. Judah Himmelstein Says:

    Insiders and outsiders to Torah: “The hatred of the Jewish ignoramus for the Talmudic scholar is greater than the hatred of the gentile for the Jew.”-Talmud, tractate Pesachim

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