When you look forward to a decisive battle, you look forward to destruction and chaos being visited on real people. When you seek heroism too vigorously, in the end, you're seeking a world where heroes are necessary: a world with enough disaster in it, and enough people sitting back, that someone "better" has to step in. Heroism is only heroism if it wants to make itself obsolete, but too often it's about separation from others. Revolutions go 'round and 'round, but heads always roll.
When it comes to the big fight between the white hats and the black hats, I've become a third-party voter. You put on a hat, you're not just declaring your moral authority above others. You're volunteering for a world where regular folks get to die in the name of ideals and prophecies and grand overarching plans. You're volunteering for a world where people need to be different in order to make it, where the ticket to Utopia is bought by changing human nature.
Us people, we're a mess. I used to think we had to stop that to be worth preserving. We had to shift our natures, slough off the ape, embrace the angel, burn away impurities in a vast moral crucible. It sounds nice if you don't think about it too hard: for people to survive, to be worthy of survival, they have to stop screwing up.
The solution isn't in making people not a mess. That's no good, because in the end, you'd be rescuing and redeeming something that wouldn't recognizably be people. You'd be insisting that people be what you want them to be if they want a life preserver. That's what an apocalypse is. That's what a revolution is. You can't ignore who--and what, in all of us--gets to go against the wall and smoke that last cigarette.
You have to be able to do for people as they are--as messes. You have to be able to love them as messes. Can you really love people, really love them, without loving all of them? Without loving them as flawed, mistake-making, stumbling messes? It's not about good not being able to exist without evil. It's not about people being incapable of change, of striving, of improvement. It's about saying that they don't have to be improved already to be worthy. It's about saying that the revolution doesn't have to come before we can love and stand with the people next to us. They don't have to be heroes. They don't have to be angels. They just get to be people.
read the rest.