Somewhere in the middle of his vast, joyous, brutal, democratic, and American poem, Walt Whitman said:
Unscrew the locks from the doors!
Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!
Whoever degrades another degrades me;
And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.
We are all here together for a time on this planet, and our lives affect each other. Facebook is the ubiquitous example of that. What we say, what we do, what we post, how we respond, how we don’t respond: these all illustrate our inescapably interwoven lives.
Old Walt’s poetry was a song for the removal of barriers between people, no matter how different, evil, good, hopeless, or rotten. He believed in the essential goodness of humans, yet was not surprised when he didn’t always find it.
To be in love with the world and unsurprised by its brutality at the same time . . . that is my wish for us all. Unscrew the locks from your doors and your hearts and see what happens.