Today I saw a sign that read, “Black Lives Matter”. And that all people residing in this country, legally or illegally, are welcome.
And earlier this week, I was asked to help someone who’s grandfather targeted and committed crimes against Jews.
Both of these situations sparked in me the questions I have spent years trying to answer: how are we going to find middle ground with those who disagree with us on the big issues? On questions of morality and virtue? How are we going to unify each other if we aren’t willing to engage with absolutely everyone, even those who despise us?
I approach both of these scenarios through the lens of humanity. We need to make the distinction between our political / economic / and religious beliefs, and straight-up human decency. Because, regardless of the family or social circumstances we were born into, we all share the same basic need for safety and connection.
There are consequences when those needs are not met. To compensate for the void, some of us take to self-abuse. Others act out and abuse others. No matter what, our hurt and pain will manifest. Ultimately hurting the greater whole.
The “black lives matter” poster signals the bigotry that continues to plague our country. Our world. The person whose family contributed to the suffering of my own community needed my help. And who I could, nonetheless, do good for.
So my conclusion is this – world views, politics, etc are complicated. Our differences are often not trivial. But at the end of the day, humanity outweighs it all. We must get comfortable with the uncomfortable. We must learn to engage and support each other as human beings. We must continually build networks of connection and safety. The goal is to construct a world that operates on those principles.
I have found it difficult to engage with people who disagree with me. Yet, every time I do, I learn something new about myself. I find compassion and common ground. This week, let’s have an open dialogue with someone with whom we disagree with. Every time we do, we are a step closer to safety and connection for us all.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love