Broken Mirrors

American hostility is nothing new. What is new is an accounting of its staggering reach. Through honest reflection, we can take its full measure, and begin the hard work of achieving a “more perfect union.” Here is step one.

Anthony Fieldman
16 min readJan 25, 2021


At the Houston Gun Show. Copyright: M&R Photography

The primary urge that most people feel when they’re faced with a broken or faulty asset is to fix it, as long as they can afford the cost of doing so; or, even if the investment carries deep and costly repercussions, do so anyway, realizing that in the long term, they cannot afford not to do so. It’s true of leaky roofs or cracked foundations; and equally, of damaged relationships, an unhealthy body or psychologically self-defeating habits, like anxiety, depression and toxic behaviors of every kind.

With the right interventions, time and attention, things get better. With enough investment, once-broken things are repaired. Some require a huge personal investment; others, not so much. It all depends. But most everything damaged in our worlds can be fixed.

Sometimes, we are even able to make things better than they were before they began breaking down. Such is the power of human nurturing, and ingenuity.

But there’s a second reaction possible to a broken thing — that of the bellicose, or combative, bully. Bullies, for the most part, are damaged people crying out for help the only way they know how: by making others aware of their pain, by manifesting and aiming it outward violently toward their environment, humans included. Bullies expend boundless energy smashing things and people around them in a fruitless attempt to feel less broken — or at least less alone in being broken.

Bullies usually make things worse in the process of acting. Bullies are the antithesis of nurturing; and their actions are anything but ingenious.

What bullies lack, in their paucity of self-awareness and self-control, is better tools for dealing with their own illnesses. Luckily, there are happy, healthy people for that.

Truly happy people don’t bully or fight others. They don’t inflict pain. They don’t foist their own problems onto others. They act in a largely contributory mode of strengthening everything…



Anthony Fieldman

Architect | Photographer | Writer | Philosopher | Polyglot | Windmill Jouster | Nomade Civilisée