Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We often read in the news about just how different and diverse our world is becoming. Because of inventions like the Internet, we’re learning more and more about people all over the world, in real time, as if they were our next door neighbors.
But, at the same time we’re learning about our differences, sometimes we’re letting those differences be barriers to our commonality. Rather than be the work-together village we once were, in too many instances we’re becoming a slum town where we stick together with those who believe as we do and form gangs to tear down others who believe differently.
We’ve become a world of red states vs. blue states. We have straights vs. gays. Black against white against Hispanic against… well, you get the picture. No one group seems to be able to avoid the fray.
Where will this lead? It’s already taken us through the courts and into wars. Where the Vietnam War became a living room war a few decades ago, we now get to watch the likes of Judge Judy, Divorce Court and even American Idol where civility toward one another seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
We love to tear down others who are different from us. Rather than step out of our homes and talk about our common interests, we pull our cars into our attached garages, turn on the radio host who attacks our differences and polarizes us, and then get on the Internet to lambaste others who don’t look, speak, think or act like we do.
We shun anything and anyone that could help us find common ground.
So, I’m betting you can guess what today’s challenge is, can’t you?
For today, be nice. Be civil. When you can’t find common ground in beliefs, find it in other areas.
Do you both have children? Grandchildren? Do you have a common interest in music? Books? Movies? Can you steer the conversation away from religion, politics, race or whatever comes between you and instead talk about something you share?
Build a bridge. Smile. You don’t have to believe the way someone else does, but you can accept someone else as a fellow child of God, a co-resident of this big, beautiful world we live in.
We don’t have to do it all, but we should do what we can, even if only for today.
Thank you for taking today’s challenge. I hope you find peace and harmony in your life and in your relationships. I hope you find small and simple service worthwhile and meaningful.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love.