At the Raven ReView, our motto is: “Change your view. Change the world.” But what does this mean?
We take our motto to heart. We don’t want to convert our readers to our opinions over and against their own viewpoints. We want to open ourselves to the infinite possibilities that present themselves when we truly listen to one another.
We Need You
At Raven, we teach and apply mimetic theory. This means we recognize and emphasize the fact that we are all formed in relationship. Our ideas and perspectives do not arise spontaneously within us, but are pieced together, nourished and tended in community with others. We form our desires and dreams by observing and absorbing the desires and dreams of others, taking them into ourselves and processing them through the filters of our experiences and memories. We are unique because our networks of friends and family, as well as our particular life journeys, are unique, but we are not individuals. We are interdividuals, connected in the intricate web of humanity.
We are all part of each other.
The moment we think we have our own perspectives all figured out, the moment we think our minds are made up and the case is closed, is the moment we shut off new possibilities. But when we recognize that there is always more to learn because we learn from others who also are continually learning, when we recognize that our interconnection with all of humanity grants us access to unlimited discovery, then we understand that all answers are building blocks to new questions, and we never stop growing.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have convictions. It doesn’t mean we want everyone to become indecisive and wishy-washy. It just means that we accept the truth that there is always more to learn, and others will have ideas, knowledge and wisdom that we will not. We need each other.
We need you.
Moving Beyond Rivalry
We at Raven are expanding beyond an educational blog into an engaged community. Whenever we write our articles, no matter how much research we put into them, no matter how strongly we are convinced of our ideas, we always know that there is more to learn. So we not only invite you to subscribe to our website, but we moreover welcome comments, questions, and new perspectives, both on our articles themselves and on our Facebook page. We don’t want followers. We want partners in dialogue.
We write to apply mimetic theory to our understanding of scripture and its relevance in the world today. We apply mimetic theory to issues of peace and violence and politics, striving to show how our perspectives are influenced by those around us, how violence can stem from clashes of shared desire and perpetuate itself, and how our interconnection creates conflicts but also solutions we may not always see. We write to acknowledge and highlight the reflection of ourselves we see even in those we may consider our opponents or enemies, acknowledging the shared humanity and desires – good and bad – between us and those with whom we are in rivalry. We write in the hope that self-reflection will self-perpetuate.
And in one particular sense, we do want to help you change your view, even as we ask for your help as we change ours. We acknowledge that, as human beings, we are prone to forming identities over and against others, over and against each other. And especially today, our expanded choices for news and commentary lead us not, generally, to a broader range of perspectives but rather give us the option to sequester ourselves in our ideological fortresses. It is understandable, and often far more pleasant, to spend our time in the real or virtual company of those with whom we more often agree than disagree. But it is harmful to isolate ourselves and build up our perspectives over and against others. When we do this, we are in danger of losing site of what we actually value as we become blinded by our opposition to those who do not share our perspectives. We shut ourselves off to discovering all we have in common and all that we might learn.
Something to Teach, Something to Learn
We therefore invite you to join us in a journey of turning from the dominant human way of forming identity over and against others to forming identity in inclusive community. We invite you to turn from rivalry and competition to relationship and cooperation. In this sense, we must all change our view because, to an extent, we all see ourselves in contrast to those against whom we wish to distinguish ourselves. While understanding our differences is important, we must understand who we are in connection to, not apart from, everyone else. We are made in, and for, relationship. The depths and implications of this truth reach further than we can imagine, and we should continually re-evaluate our perspectives in the ever-expanding light that this truth sheds.
So, we need you to help us change – expand, deepen, tweak – our views! Because writing about the ways in which we are all interconnected is incomplete without actually connecting! Because you know facts that we do not know, and have ideas we have never considered, and come from a perspective informed by others we have never met and experiences we have never had. You may know much or little about mimetic theory. You may read us occasionally when we write about topics that interest you and have something to contribute from your own field of knowledge. Wherever you’re coming from, you have something to teach, and something to learn.
We Can Change the World Together
And the world so urgently needs the sharing of ideas that transcend barriers of rivalry and competition for control of the narrative. The world needs peacemaking across divisions, where multiple viewpoints are welcomed. The world needs us to root ourselves in respect for one another and commitment to listening to one another so that we can open our ears and our hearts to ideas that otherwise would never cross our paths. The world needs us to form our ideas together so that they are more inclusive and more sensitive to each other’s needs.
At the Raven ReView, we recognize that we cannot be who we are unless you are who you are. So we need to hear your voice. We need each other to expand our understanding of this vast and infinite universe. When we expand our understanding, we expand our empathy, our compassion, and our love. So let us change our view and change the world the only way we can: together.