Hope and the Universality of Human Imperfection

Unlike many other immensely popular writers, James Carroll is not a household name. Perhaps his books are not on the echelon of best seller lists, nor he comes frequently in news media for scandalous wisdom. Each week his one column gets published in The Boston Globe, and each of them brings observations so deep and profound that for a careful reader his words, metaphors and painstaking presentations of reality in crisp but penetrating language are like a "golden compass" that may guide a "lost soul" from indirection to "destiny".

This week James Carroll writes about imperfection that relates to human hope and universality. Here are a few memorable quotes from this must read article:

"People who benefit from an imperfect power structure speak warmly of love, while those who suffer from it angrily demand justice.

But the deeper question goes to the human condition itself: In our unending quest for a better world, how do we deal with the inevitably flawed character of every society, and of every citizen? How does each of us deal, that is, with the inevitable complicity of our leadership - our preachers, our politicians - in what ails society? How do we deal with our own complicity?

One answer has been denial."

Self denial is the single most powerful tool available for us the imperfect mortals, that brings the necessary convenience in overlooking all the grotesque misdeeds, injustice, discriminations and even blatant criminality performed by our fellow human beings, or even our own complicity in the participation of mutilation of our self proclaimed upright senses for the sake of comfortable delusion, these are all part of our boasted humanity!

When the leaders are chosen by people, hopes for a better world are bestowed on these leaders in the hope that they are wise and will make correct decisions. However, "The empowered may begin as wise rulers, philosopher kings or benign dictators, but their governance inevitably shows itself to be totalitarian. Every command society assumes that some individual - or some collective - is capable of perfection, while the mass of ordinary people are not. This construct defines, say, the "dictatorship of the proletariat," with absolute power exercised by the Communist Party, but it also points to the universal human tendency to assume that the holders of power are better than others."

Here is the link to James Carroll's article:
Hope and the universality of human imperfection