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From ‘and’ to ‘versus’

Me versus you. Us versus them.

Not ‘and’. Versus.

A friend and i spoke over phones today. A close relative of his is seriously ill from Covid-19 and the friend angry. He was angry at a government, angry at people with historical privileges, angry that nothing had been done to prepare in the past year and angry enough to say the time had come to burn structures down with guns, bombs and whatever it took.

I listened as closely as i could, trying not to insery myself and my views into this picture. At some point though, i did. I shared what i saw seemed to be going on, who was guiding me and who was paying for it — us people. I do remember the moment i realised, “I’ve done it again”.

Some thing(s) we in general, and i in particular, said had led to this. The branches of connection became brittle and we, him and me, became him versus me, separated by what we believed, in just a few words.

I find myself nowhere near adequate to listen and respond to the moment without inserting my views into the conversation

This feel deeply discomfiting. Another friendship hangs in threads. I try to keep learning to weave newer and more appropriate ways to weave and be.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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