For the sake of the one

I read recently that men are statistically more likely than women to be narcissists. The story was in the Washington Post and quoted an article from the journal of the American Psychological Association, so it seems to be a valid study.

My own half century of interacting with men and women certainly does not represent numbers that would constitute any sort of meaningful cross section of humanity. But my limited experience leads me to think that the study is probably true. You take a hundred men and a hundred women, and a greater number of men from that group will be selfish and self-absorbed.

Okay.

I comprehend the truth of the study, but I’m not sure what you and I should do with this newfound knowledge. If only one woman in a hundred was a narcissist, and if only one man in a hundred was not, what would that fact mean to you if you were to find yourself face-to-face with the exception from each group?

Imagine how lonely that one man would be? His models of manhood skewed. Desire for a loving relationship with a soul mate throbbing in his heart and every woman mistrusting him with good reason. For the sake of the one, would you keep your heart open? For the sake of the one, would you remain hopeful that not all is lost?

A friend recently told me that he had good evidence to suggest that perhaps 25% of Muslims worldwide support acts of terror as a means to achieve what they perceive to be righteous goals. I don’t know where he got his numbers. I don’t have the energy or knowledge to dispute them. But what do these numbers mean to me?

Tomorrow I will pick up my daughter and her friend Zohal and drive them home from school. Zohal and Lilly have been friends since elementary school. She and her parents are kind and good people. And she is brave to wear her Hijab in this climate of anger and fear.

For the sake of Zohal and her parents, shouldn’t I keep my heart open? For the sake of the one, shouldn’t I remain hopeful that not all is lost?

Yes. And also for the sake of the One.

amazement
Thank you to Rachel Barenblat, the Velveteen Rabbi, for the last line.

  • Rachel Barenblat

    That your daughters form close connections with their Jewish and Muslim counterparts is a sign that you and Jeneane are raising those girls up right.

    Yes, for the sake of the one. Always. (And for the sake of the One, too. Though I imagine you meant that as well.)

    • http://tertiumsquid.com Gordon Atkinson

      I’m sad I missed that tie in. I should have caught it and added it as the last sentence. For the sake of the One. This small essay was inspired by Abraham arguing with God about Soddom & Gomorrah. For the sake of even a few righteous, should you not stay your hand. Far be it from you to do such a thing.

    • http://tertiumsquid.com Gordon Atkinson

      I added a last line and credited you. Thanks, my friend.