I have come to feel very sorry for a lot of folks in the world; not out of a sense of pity, though. I feel sorry out of a sense of compassion and empathy. There are so many people from so many walks of life, many nations, many creeds, who are feeling so very afraid. The world as they know it has ended. The understandings and practices that they have grown up with, that they are comfortable with, are gone. And perhaps gone is too harsh a term, but they are certainly out of fashion and are not welcome in practice. Imagine growing and learning and living under a set standard of beliefs, one that was passed down to you and was upheld by every establishment you were aware of, and suddenly being told it was wrong, invalid, outdated. How would you feel?
Having found myself in that position more than once in my lifetime, I can tell you it makes one feel afraid, insecure, distrustful, even paranoid and suspicious. I struggled to understand this new world I found myself in, and it was hard, especially when many of my friends and family didn’t understand or couldn’t even see my dilemma. How could they appreciate my struggle if they had never experienced it? Fortunately for me, I was blessed. I was given new friends who joined with some of my family in supporting my growth and encouraging my learning. They have been some of the angels on my journey, bright souls sent to light up my darkness so that I could see the path. It has not always been an easy path to follow. I have been challenged repeatedly, to grow more, to open up more, to learn more. In reward for that effort, I was given the greatest blessing of all.
To be loved, wholly, unconditionally, completely, just as I am. From that point of blessing, I have been able to see all the ways in which my life has been blessed; how the world has been blessed. And with that in mind, I offer Hope to all of those that are fearful of the future and the world they’ve known and understood changes daily under their feet. That Hope comes in the form of the children. I have been blessed with many children. Some I have carried and nurtured in my womb. Others I have carried and nurtured in my heart. All of them have taught me many lessons of love and acceptance. Theirs is a world of equality and solidarity like none we have witnessed outside of stories and books. Theirs is the world I believe Christ could see and encouraged everyone to work towards.
Our problem is that too many of us are closed off, unable to see this world as it is. We have grown old trying to keep up the rules and laws that serve a few while oppressing too many. Those rules are a heavy burden to bear and haven’t born the fruit they were promised to. We have grown tired, deep in our souls, struggling to maintain an old way of thinking that separates us from the greater humanity, tired of working to try to maintain a living that seems empty and devoid of reward. When we are separate, we are alone. When we are alone, we are prone to fear the Other. They are different and strange. We don’t understand their ways. We are afraid they will take something from us. We fail to see that the more we give, the more we receive.
The blessing of the many children I have been given, however, is to witness and learn from their openness. Those lessons I taught that I understood intellectually, they have absorbed deep into their souls and reflect them out into the world in such a beautiful rainbow. Where we see difference, they see oneness. They look out and see beauty in the Other, in their difference. They find the strange exciting and challenging. They embrace the difference and do not fear the upset of change, for they can appreciate the zest it brings to life to have things shaken up a bit. And in the most important ways, they fail to see any difference at all.
When my children look at their fellow human beings, they see people just like themselves. People who want to work at something they love. People that want to play with people who appreciate their gifts and talents. They see people who want to love and be loved, wholly, completely, unconditionally. Beyond those traits, the rest is just details to be learned, understood, and accepted. Those details are what make life interesting. They are the zest of life, the tang and excitement that brings excitement to our world. If the entire world was full of folks exactly like us, down to the last little idiosyncrasy…well, the world would be an awfully boring place. And hating the differences out of each other hasn’t worked no matter how many thousands of years the human race has fought. Perhaps we can take a page from my children’s’ book. Perhaps we could try to love one another. Sounds rather simple, doesn’t it? Although it was the greatest lesson anyone has ever tried to teach the world, it has proven to be the most difficult for the world to learn.
Let us begin as we mean to go on. Let there be Peace on Earth, let us Love One Another, and let it begin with you and me. Let us embrace in solidarity, for we all have the same hopes and dreams no matter the form they take. To Love, and to Be Loved….that’s all that matters. If we can keep that in our hearts, then it’s all good.