It’s easy to criticize the crimes and tragedies of the world. They are there for all to see. But where do they begin? Each one started with an interior decision, a moment in which the person decided to look at reality differently.
What’s the worst thing you can do to life? Put it in a jar. Reduce it to a spectacle for diversion. Suffocate it with cameras Aspirational, tags, and screens. Trap it, control it, and impose your boundaries and rules on it. Although it may survive for a time, although you say it caused no harm, in the end, only death can follow. It all starts with a gaze, with a way of looking at reality. Harmless enough, correct?
We can be completely blind to the reality dealing with life. It is almost as if the reality of life is completely foreign to us , a wavelength that we are unable to perceive, an algorithm that was unable to be decoded. Is this not the reality that we so often face when dealing with the attacks on human dignity today?
The cruelty of euthanasia is nothing more than a blurred vision of reality, when looking upon the body, we lose sight of the person. We could say the same of pornography, which is probably the most convincing proof in favor of the deadly habits that start with an impure gaze The Case of Ted Bundy.
Still, the interesting part is that this attack on dignity does not start with a knife, with a pro-abortion campaign, or a piece of legislature promoting euthanasia, etc. It starts with ignorance that stems from irreverence. It starts with a supposedly “harmless” gaze that allows itself to be blinded to the dignity of life in all of its forms. It starts when the human heart is replaced with a mechanical one, and the look of love becomes one of egoistic curiosity.
Such a gaze occurs in all sorts of situations: any time we allow our own egoistic interests to blind us from mystery and dignity of life. Often, we justify ourselves claiming that nothing comes from a harmless gaze…
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Therein lies its eloquence: the subtle progression. It’s the progression of a gaze that becomes a way of looking at reality, a mentality that turns into a hobby, that turns into a vice, that turns into an obsession, that turns into a series of acts, that finally turns into a culture, a culture of death. Only in being aware of the progression can we nip it at the beginning.
That said, if such a gaze can generate such death, what about a gaze that knows to recognize and celebrate life in its freedom and dignity? What kind of culture can we generate, what kind of world can we build? With a gaze of love, could we not begin to build that so desired dream that Pope Paul VI once called the “Civilization of Love?”
There is a time for living, and a time to die. We have the power to ease suffering and the greatest sin we commit is our failure to use it. I have been close to death and the dying too many times to accept that there is any dignity in it – I see only humiliation; I see only needless pain. As for pornography, it exists on the back of our inhibitions; our repressive attitudes around the subject and the conduct of the most natural act we ever perform. Take away the cant and the hoodoo and we are animals, just as any other species that populates this planet in spite of our determination to eliminate them. The beginning is a gaze? The beginning is an entrenched attitude, an unshakable belief that there is only one truth an that is yours. That is not a gaze, because a ‘gaze’ implies a broad, unfettered view and the one expressed here is tunnel vision. Sorry, but I profoundly and most vehemently disagree.