Exceptionalism and Empathy

It seems to me there’s an opportunity here. A chance to look more critically at our exceptionalism narrative, and at the broader array and evidence of human experience.

“It couldn’t happen here,” “it can’t happen now,” and “it won’t happen to me” are flimsy articles of faith — especially when you consider that the American experience is the selective recording of a particular 200-year slice of history.

What are the chances that, starting with the same human essence as everyone else, on the same planet as everyone else, we’re subject to the same vicissitudes as everyone else?

If we’re going to “build back better,” perhaps there’s a chance to lay stronger foundations. And we could start by acknowledging our similarities and fragility, rather than asserting our difference.