He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

Edwin Markham

This quote came to mind today when I was finishing the third chapter of “The Coddling of the American Mind”. The first chapters talk about “Three Bad Ideas” that are influencing American colleges today. The third of these “bad ideas” is “The Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life is a Battle Between Good People and Evil People.” It doesn’t take much life experience, or much time on social media, to see that this is an untruth that many of us believe — either wittingly or unwittingly.

What I liked about this chapter, however, was a story at the end about a Trump rally that gave time to a Black Lives Matter rally that was happening at the same time. People from both “sides” gave those from the “other” time and space to express their ideas. While there was still disagreement, both drew on their common humanity and in the end friendships were made and a circle was drawn that “took [them all] in!”

Here’s the Washington Post article about that story.


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