By providing an inspiring real life story of how empathy can change the world, this man has become a living embodiment of what society can achieve when it doesn’t fall prey to fear and hate:
When he started making friends among the KKK, Daryl embraced “the enemy” because deep inside he knew that there is no enemy. People make mistakes; they sometimes end up on a path that leads to suffering because they had few alternatives. That doesn’t make them any less human than the ones on the “other side”. But one important fact is that we’re all in the same boat. It’s up to us – to all of us – to grow each other up and to make sure that the boat we’re on becomes a party boat towards a beautiful land, not a dirge heading for the cemetery.
White supremacists, Islamic extremists, corporate crooks and whatever “villains” you can think of, they all begin as innocent, harmless babies. It’s the society that people live in that turns them into something that they themselves probably would have hated as children to hear that they could become. No baby is born with a desire to do harm. Yes, we do have an instinct for survival which demands that some basic physical needs are met. But in most (unfortunately not all) societies on Earth there’s quite a stretch until a human will kill another human for food.
I can name at least one Nobel Peace Prize winner who doesn’t deserve that honor as much as Daryl. It takes not only courage but also love to make one go there, on the front lines, facing those that would do one harm. I wish more people will soon think and do as Daryl and make friends within the groups they despise most. It is something I also have been doing, which is why Daryl’s much more meaningful work has a special meaning to me as I am championing the same cause. Communication is a prime ingredient of peace. I believe that such actions are essential if we wish to take our next evolutionary step forward not only as a society but also as a species.