One way to describe the Invitation and Repair project is to say that it’s for people who haven’t given up. One should always be hesitant to make broad social generalizations by haunting social media platforms or the websites that have become parasitical on social media — i.e., most newspapers and magazines —, but it’s clear that that world, at least, is dominated by people who have given up on some things that no healthy society ever gives up on.
People drag supposed racists or transphobes or whatever on Twitter because they have given up on achieving real social change.
Politicians strut and fret their hour on the social-media stage because they have given up on meaningful legislative work.
Partisans smear and mock those who disagree with them because they have given up on persuasion.
Journalists default to advocacy because they have given up on finding and telling the truth.
Readers and viewers of journalism seek and share misinformation because they have given up on learning the truth.
Violent thugs assault the U.S. Capitol or loot their own neighborhoods because they have given up on democracy.
All of the good things given up on require hard, patient work; none of the replacements do. They’re easy and quick; they promise immediate rewards (though whether what they in fact give amounts to “rewards” is a matter for debate). But when we invite and repair we manifest hope: we look towards a future of cooperative endeavor — cooperative discovery, cooperative healing.
The hopeful refuse mindslaughter; the hopeful join the United Front Against Bullshit.