How is it that we can live in a technically advanced society, one where I can chat real time with my girlfriends in Africa, or Calgary. Where I can type and you can read if you so choose seconds after a blog entry is posted. Where social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter can help you find friends that even a few years ago were seemingly lost forever. But yet we as a society in general can not master the golden rule..
Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself
Though not found in the Bible deep seeded truth of loving others is. Why is it that things like skin colour, mental health, physical differences or moral choices bring out the worst in people. Makes me crazy! We are all created in the image of God, we are all human beings. Sure we have differences that is what makes the world a more interesting place to live. Face it if you were all like me life would be a whole lot different that you know it now.
Yesterday, Jen, posted this link to a video on her facebook page. As I watched I was speechless, I had no words at all, it played in my head over and over. Shocked that in Canada, a country that prides it's self in being a multi-cultural melting pot of acceptance, violence like this occurs. That one man supposedly only because of his dark skin was taunted and attacked by 3 others because THEY thought he was of less value. My heart ached, for Jen the mother of 2 teens of African American decent who she loves with all her heart. How do you send your boys into a world like this. How do you teach them to be tolerant, accepting and loving if there is a possibility that they too could face such a situation. The only thing you can tell them is rise above it, prove to the world that you are better men, than the likes of those who choose to be bullies. Then hug them, and cover them in TONS of prayer as they learn to walk on their own. Something that so many of us take for granted to a certain extent, our safety and confidence in simply being who we are, because we have white skin.
Or my other friend Marja, who suffers from Bi-polar disorder and has for decades. Fighting not only the challenges of the disease on a personal level, but fighting the stigma attached to it on a global level. She does an amazing job, but she faces challenges and prejudices along the way for sure. Simply because she is different from the normal and she is fighting for those who are often ridiculed in "normal" society. Why? Ignorance, people do not take the time to listen and truly hear the hearts of people who suffer, face it anything that shy's away from the norm makes people uncomfortable. People do not like to be uncomfortable.
Or Joc, an expectant mother of triplets who is laying in a hospital bed trying with all her might to bring these precious lives into the world several weeks down the road. Not now! Who early on in the pregnancy was told that she would have a better chance of delivering healthy babies if she terminated one. Chose to keep all three despite what the medical professionals were telling her. Would those same doctors want to hear some of the same hurtful things they were dishing out if they were in the same situation. Likely not.
I grew up in a home where derogatory names were the norm for defining people of different ethnic backgrounds. I recall quite vividly at a young age knowing it was wrong & asking my dad to stop... (hmm, possibly, this was the beginning of our relationship struggles...)
I was probably 6 or 7. I know it was Grade 1, because I remember the class room, I remember the teacher. I remember one very specific situation that made me think what dad calls people is wrong. There was a new girl in our class. Some of the boys started teasing her because of her dark skin, her long un-cut hair and the clothes she wore. I remember the deep hurt I saw in her eyes, & remember looking at her and a tear slipping from my eye and the smile that lit her face when she knew she had found a friend in me.....
Why is it in a world where we can send people to the moon, or cure diseases, pay people millions to make a movie for sheer entertainment value can not learn to love with out boundaries.
Why is it that we pass down hate to our children so easily but fail to show them how valued they are simply for the amazing miracles that they are.
I hope and pray that my girls have learned that people are of great value, certainly above things. That no matter the colour of their skin, economic class or physical or mental limitations - they have great value.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you"