A Credo For Leif, for You to Read or Not Read

I believe in the lessons of the Enlightenment: Human is human. Period. I believe that tendencies from the Right or Left to forget these lessons can and do lead to atrocities (regardless of intent), and could eventually lead to the extermination of all humans if unchecked.

I believe there are sometimes bad actors among humans, and the job of the other humans is to figure out how to interrupt and/or stop their bad actions while not forgetting that we and they are fully human. There are no true outsiders, and while we all experience this existence in complex, individual ways — and while group experience is informative, significant, and impactful — all sub-group categories are ultimately illusory and just a convenience that we should be willing to drop at any second. Human is human. If we forget this, we will destroy ourselves as we attempt to destroy our enemies.

I believe all weapons are tools, potentially dangerous but inanimate and waiting for human intervention; and that since we can never eliminate every weapon or potential weapon, it is our duty in the interest of humanity to do what we can to ensure as much as possible that they are not used for anti-human purposes. This is not easy and defies simple solutions, but it is necessary, and pretending that we collectively bear no responsibility leads to heinous results.

I believe religion is a human-made construct to help people try to grasp the ungraspable, and that this can be a healthy thing — until it strays into anti-human territory in the name of doctrine or creed. Then it is our human responsibility to intervene. This is no easier than being collectively responsible about weapons, but it is as equally important.

I believe those who do not agree with me are equally and fully human (even if they are dead wrong), and to forget that or ignore it is to corrode my own essential humanity until I jettison all of my values in the name of being Correct, and I myself am no longer recognizable as human.

I believe the fact that humans are capable of great evil means that we are also capable of great good, and to pretend that one is true but the other isn’t is a mistake.

I believe hatred toward another human — even deserved, reasonable hatred — is self-corrosive.

I believe intentionally hurting a fellow human for any reason (even a necessary one) is monstrous and acidic to our basic humanity, and changes us in ways we can’t predict, none of them good.

I believe that love is superior to tolerance every single time; that love is not an abstract concept but a deliberate intention with healing and restorative powers we cannot predict. Tolerance involves “putting up with” people, a term with alienation and otherness at its very core.¬†Loving takes guts.

I believe real love — pro-human, radical love that is capable of ignoring expedience and is often irrational and unexplainable — is more powerful than any creed, religion, government, concept, race, idea, or weapon.

If these things make me seem intellectually anemic or hopelessly idealistic, I will seek consolation in the knowledge that I am in good historical company.

I believe in humanity. I believe in love.

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