We’ve reached a dangerous moment in our culture where we assume a frozen ideal, a state of arrested development, from which no growth or improvement are assumed possible. Because growth cannot happen without the necessary ingredients of redemption, forgiveness and self-forgiveness. If we’re not allowed to learn from our mistakes, atone for them, become better people, then we can grow neither individually nor collectively. After all, the great documents we live by assume a progression — whether it’s the never-ending journey toward “a more perfect union” or Martin Luther King’s “arc of the moral universe” bending toward justice — and even our Constitution had amendments.

We all want change, both for ourselves and for our society. And for that to happen, we have to create a culture in which we’re allowed to be forgiven and learn from our mistakes. That means forgiving others, and forgiving ourselves. Our purpose in life isn’t to be perfect, but to always strive and work toward becoming better. When our technology works against this fundamental drive, we need to re-evaluate our relationship with technology and ask ourselves if we are allowing it to create a dystopian world no one would want to live in, fueling conflict and hate and shrinking our humanity.

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