The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
With the shootings that occurred in Florida last week that left 17 people dead, the inevitable always happens: people sound the alarms and fortify their positions. Trenches are dug a little deeper and we frame things in terms that are black and white.
If you're PRO-GUN CONTROL, you must be against the SECOND AMENDMENT.
If you love guns, you must not care about the children.
But Fitzgerald had it right: true intelligence is the ability to hold contradictory ideas at the same time. The ability to see grays and nuance. The skill of sharpening the spear while at the same time showing compassion.
That's what art is about, great art. And good writing. The purpose isn't to provoke people into a place that is unyielding as much as it is to inspire us around new ways of thinking.
At times like these, we all think words, and the world, has failed us. Which is true. While at the same time proving once again that these efforts are needed now more than ever.
If you feel obliged to help people smarter than I am carry on the conversation, then perhaps donate to everytown.org.