Once acknowledging the potential for brutality in each of us, we become incapable of locating evil in “the other”—in someone else but not in ourselves. It is, yes, a terrifying thought, but also liberating, for this admission helps us appreciate the power of the culture we ourselves create to bring forth the best or the worst in human beings.
On this, then, our survival depends: to envision and create institutions, from our schools to our media to our businesses, that foster our democratic selves—people who are able to feel and express empathy and see through the walls of race, culture and religion that divide us, people who know how to take our rightful place of power while maintaining relationship that fosters the power of others.
This is an invitation to the uncertainty and the risk, the personal power, connection, learning and fulfillment that are the promise of Living Democracy.
— Frances Moore Lappé, born this day in 1944
While it is not certain that democracy can save us, it is clear first, that democracy is our best hope and second, that democracy is being rapidly dismembered and torn from our embrace by money and raw power. – JJM