By Dave Andrusko
In the opening paragraph of “The Everlasting Man,” G.K. Chesterton observed, “There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there.”
Clearly, that is not an option for us. In our heartless treatment of unborn babies, we as a nation have wandered far, far from home.
“The other,” Chesterton wrote in his classic, “is to walk round the whole world till we come back to the same place.”
Sometimes it can seem as if we have walked halfway around the world and we are as far away from home as we can possibly be.
To some, a better imagery than east and west is north and south. For it seems as if we have descended into the nether regions of our souls. Reflection on the recently commemorated 46nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, what can we do to help the American people complete the journey back home?
I am no psychologist and I offer what follows only as a means of trying to think about what we are witnessing.
I have mentioned more than once the “Johari Window.” It’s a psychological model, created by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in which the self is envisioned as a window with four panes. To quote my notes (from where, I don’t recall)
“The Open self is known to the self and to others; The Hidden self is known to the self but not to others; The Blind self is unknown to the self but known to others; The Unknown self, which lives that Deeper life, is unknown by all.”
When it comes to abortion and the spiral of violence, it seems as if we can particularly learn from this description of the third pane. Referring to the Blind self
“There are things about ourselves which we do not know, but that others can see more clearly; or things we imagine to be true of ourselves for a variety of reasons but that others do not see at all. When others say what they see in a supportive, responsible way and we are able to hear it, in that way we are able to test the reality of who we are and are able to grow.”
How does this help us, then, as we experience our culture’s attitude toward unborn babies slip into an ever more cavalier, ever more brutal pattern of dehumanization and depersonalization? It teaches us that we must help Americans address “things about themselves” which they “do not know.”
What does that require? That pro-lifers must (in a “supportive, responsible way”) speak the truth to a people whom I truly believe deep down are far better than their outward behavior towards the powerless would suggest.
Why will this work? Primarily because there remains a core of shared values that have been momentarily hijacked by the anti-life forces. How can we return the values of generosity mercy, compassion, and justice back into the home where they belong? By our example, by our diligence, and by our genuine love for both mother and child.
Our task, though immense, is clear. It is restoration. We must restore memory, mercy, and mankind’s reverence for life.
If anyone can do it, let me boldly suggest, it is the marvelous men and women who comprise the pro-life movement.