Inevitably, today you will be annoyed. If not, then perhaps you are not where you need to be.
What do I mean? It is simply this. Adversity teaches best. As the Dalai Lama put it; “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”
Or as Jesus said; “If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?”
If all I do is regurgitate the rantings of others I agree with then I am simply a “ringing gong or a clanging cymbal,” void of love. Rigid beliefs remain so when I only interact with like-minded individuals.
It is fear that keeps me from those different than me. In this day and age, with the rampant divisiveness that seems to permeate our society, it is imperative that we be a “crossover people.”
Wall building is easy. Building bridges less so. Finding the common ground takes tenacity, patience, and the willingness to see past the fortresses that we have erected around our hearts.
Statistics and facts can be used and abused to justify any position. But more often than not they simply depersonalize the issue. We forget that every issue is really about people. People whose lives and hopes and dreams are every bit as important as mine or yours.
So hopefully today someone will annoy you. And even more so, may you have eyes to see the reason why and ears to hear the still small voice that prods you to respond with compassion.
Let’s make this personal.
Midweek essays occur every Wednesday. See the publication schedule for more details.