“People often see themselves in terms of whichever one of their allegiances is most under attack,” Maalouf writes.
.. The people who exclude us try to reduce our myriad identities down to one simplistic one. Amartya Sen calls this process “miniaturization.” You may be an athletic Baptist Democratic surgeon with three kids and a love for Ohio State, but to the bigot you’re just one thing: your faith or skin color or whatever it is he doesn’t like.
The odd thing is, people are often complicit in their own miniaturization.
.. When you’re disrespected for being a Jew, a Christian, a liberal or a conservative, the natural instinct is to double down on that identity.
.. It’s human nature that we feel our slights more strongly than we feel our advantages, so we all tend to feel downtrodden these days.
- White males and Zionists feel victimized on campus.
- Christians feel oppressed by the courts.
- Women feel victimized in tech.
- The working class feels victimized everywhere.
- Even Taylor Swift apparently feels victimized by celebrity.
.. Group victimization has become the global religion — from Berkeley to the alt-right to Iran — and everybody gets to assert his or her victimization is worst and it’s the other people who are the elites... “Love has within it a redemptive power,” he argued. “And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. … Just keep being friendly to that person. … Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. … They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load.”.. The more vibrant attachments a person has, the more likely she will find some commonality with every other person on earth. The more interesting her own constellational self becomes. The world isn’t only a battlefield of groups; it’s also a World Wide Web of overlapping allegiances. You might be Black Lives Matter and he may be Make America Great Again, but you’re both Houstonians cruising the same boat down flooded streets... equipoise ..
It’s the ability to move gracefully through your identities — to have the passions, blessings and hurts of one balanced by the passions, blessings and hurts of several others.