“Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival.”
Good morning, friends. I hope you are doing well today. That’s saying something, really, given the state of the Union these days. That’s my matter today, so let me get to it, please.
These are troubling times in our country. Every day more and more unnecessary death. The news has become so bad that a diehard reader and watcher of news like me has become allergic to it. You can blame it on the President, or on the NRA, or on guns, or on anything, but I think you’re missing the real culprit. Look in the mirror. Chances are you’re looking at an intolerant person. I may be, too.
If there’s anybody sitting in the room with you then guess what? You’re different. You’re different from every person you’ve ever met or ever will meet. The thing is, you accept the diversity in the people you like, and they accept yours too, but not so much for people you don’t like. Their diversity somehow becomes a problem, one that blossoms into intolerance and flowers into rejection. This is the root of the problem in our Union: we don’t understand that our own intolerance is part of the problem.
We celebrate our own uniqueness as a wonderful thing, but for some reason we deny that wonder in the other. We believe all is right, beautiful and wonderful in our world, and wrong, dreary and terrible in the world of the other. We believe the sun shines on us most of the time and it rains constantly on the other. Call it whatever you want, but we have a judgement problem, and we are reaping the world that we’ve sown. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
What if we were to celebrate every “other” as unique and beautiful just as they are? What if we were to seek understanding just as desperately as we seek justification and rationalization? What if we were to stop, as Martin Buber taught, seeing the other as “it” and began seeing them as “you”, personalized, with emotions and feelings and hopes and dreams just like me and you?
I refuse to live in fear no matter how much fear rages around me nor will I be led to fear by fear mongers no matter how popular or prevalent they are. Nothing good comes from fear anyway. Join me in a campaign to champion kindness and love and peace and understanding and forgiveness. We can make this a better Union not by who we elect or reject or blame or exclude, but only by who we become, personally. Selfishly I want this, and I hope you do to. Let’s encourage each other to be sparks of the better Union. I can’t wait to see the bonfire. Have a great week.