Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Love, Fault, and Loss of Innocence

I asked in an entry below:
"Wouldn't it be fantastic if we lived in an age so enlightened that each side [of a heated rift] helped the other articulate its message?"
Of course, we all know that no such thing will ever happen. Human beings, having survived and evolved by aggressively, even savagely, defending our individual interests and cooperating only insofar as those interests are directly served, simply are not wired that way.

I can remember the first time I fully realized this disheartening truth. I was watching a tennis match on television, and the camera caught a ball landing just inside the line, though the umpire called it out. What interested me was that the receiving player was in a position to clearly see that the ball was in. But he just stood there, silent and clench-jawed, while the player who'd hit the shot argued plaintively with the umpire.

It seemed like spectacularly poor sportsmanship to me, but I observed not a glimmer of ambivalence on his face. And it seemed clear that he'd suffer no stigma, though a million viewers knew he knew the truth and yet had said nothing.

I was eleven years old, and this was the end of my innocence. I saw the problem clearly, and buckled down for the potential unpleasantness of this whole life thing.

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