“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” — Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
This. And a small vignette.
In our circle yesterday, Caitlin arrived a little late, and took a seat on the outside of the rim.
The one who noticed was a Chinese-Vietnamese woman who had come to Canada as a child refugee in the 1970s, stuffed into a dangerous boat with hundreds of others fleeing war and fear. She turned and saw Caitlin and moved her chair to make room for her in the circle.
She knew intuitively how to fit one more person in, how to welcome, how to alleviate the feeling of being outside. How to bring wholeness. It was a moment in which our threaded hearts were stitched together.
In these days, when a cultivated fear of the other is what passes for politics, this quote and this story landed.