We all have our proverbial soapboxes. Sometimes we find ourselves hauling them out on a regular basis, standing high atop them and vigorously pontificating on whatever we’re pontificating about. Other times they’re rarely used except in those most exceptional moments when circumstances are of such magnitude that not pulling them out feels as wrong as whatever it is that prompted us to pull them them out in the first place. And for some of us, we never store them away at all because we’re always standing on them barking out the tired idioms of whatever it is that our cause might be. We all have our proverbial soapboxes.
The Nature of the Soapbox
Our soapboxes represent some cherished cause, or movement, or belief system, or philosophy that we’ve come to embrace as imperative to the whole of life. It often takes on proportions of such enormity that it is no longer a ‘part’ of a larger existence. Rather, it becomes the undisputed ‘totality’ of our existence. Therefore, we absolutely must find a place in every situation within which to force-fit it.
The Sad Art of Alignment
Once we’ve become possessed with this burning agenda of ours, we set out on a dazed search to determine how we can find some point of entry (despite how ridiculously obscure it might be) that we can forcefully squeeze that agenda into. Therefore, we’re not looking at the global nature of the events that transpire all around us. Rather, we’re looking for that ever-so-slight point of entry that we can fidget with sufficiently to worm our agenda into.
We become lookouts of the most incessant sort, scanning the global horizons seeking out that tragedy or that political controversy or that natural disaster that might finally be that long-sought platform from which we can hoist the flag of our agenda for the world to see. And on this hilltop we clamor for some meager foothold that might lend both legitimacy and voice to this agenda of ours.
Blinding Ourselves to the Larger Issues
The larger agenda becomes nothing more than the platform for our smaller agenda. We have forgotten the nature of the hill that we are attempting to stand upon. We’ve become consumed by the agenda that prompted us to use this hill for purposes that ignore the things that made this hill a hill. And whatever this hill is, it will never be healed, held, solved, resolved, bound up or found out, or anything else because we’re not paying attention to the very thing that we’re standing upon.
Re-Victimizing the Victims
And here we are, proudly waving the flag of this glorious agenda of ours while in reality what we’re doing is blatantly re-victimizing the people that make up the hill that we’re ignorantly standing upon. And the people devastated and utterly demolished by whatever this hill is will limp through life void of everything they need to heal because no one’s paying attention, society will walk on itself wounded because it wasn’t paying attention either, and we will eventually come down from this hill utterly mystified by the fact that nothing is better.
The Agenda is the Hill
The agenda is ‘the hill’, not what the hill will do for us. No hill is a platform for anything other than the hill. And if we use it otherwise, it bespeaks of the ignorance, weakness and selfishness of our agenda. Our agenda is to lift our fellow man from the smoldering carnage that engulfs him, to gently heal his wounds, to tenderly infuse hope to hearts that lost hope in the catastrophe of blood splattered and lives lost, and then to let him know that he is not alone in a journey full of butchery, wounds inflicted, and dreams aflame. And when that alone is our agenda, the world changes and we change with it. And surprisingly we might ask, “Was that not the goal of our agenda in the first place?”