“Yes with every person one meets, one is presented with a weakening of one’s certainty, a shakedown of the habits and grooves of separate existence,” he wrote. “A challenge which most people react to by fear or flight. They misunderstand the nature of the challenge. It lies in forging a unity, mixing it up, constructing the truth to be found between the seams of individual lives. All of which requires breaking some sweat. Like a good basketball game. Or a fine dance” (p. 455).I have to wonder if everyone resonates with the deep truth of this as much as I do. Every real meeting we have with another human being presents us with a threat to our certainty and the opportunity to construct a new truth "between the seams of individual lives."
It reminds me of one of my favorite Tracy Chapman songs/videos.
The one thing ideologues hold on to for dear life is certainty. But what Obama knows is that any authentic meeting with the "other" requires that we risk all that. Rather than being a sign of naiveté or weakness, it takes an incredibly strong person to do that. All of the battles and wars we fight with one another are simply a way to avoid taking that risk.