#acceptance

STRANGERS

 

 

It’s funny…how it works…people walk into the bookstore as strangers…we greet…we talk…I might help them find the book they’re looking for…we talk some more…and in those few brief moments…we’re not strangers anymore.

 

We begin by talking about books…then move to sharing things about our life…

“Her birthday is next week.” He smiles.  “I’m going to buy this old book for my wife.”

 

“What a beautiful baby!” I say. “I remember when our children were that small…but it’s been a while…when I wave to the baby and she waves back…everybody smiles.

 

“Can I bring my dog into the store?”

“Of course…that would be fine.”

Then he tells me a little about his dog…and I tell him things I remember about mine.

 

And so it goes…one after the other…strangers walk into our store…and once we share what we have in common…we’re not strangers anymore.

 

Because the more we learn about each other…the more bridges we create…the more there is to love and the less there is to hate.

 

Which means if we can make strangers into friends…

the less chance there is for danger

because it’s harder to hate a friend…than it is to hate a stranger.

 

So here’s my vote for viewing the world as one giant expansive bookstore…

where we meet as strangers…

we talk…

we share with one another…

where in a matter of minutes…

we’re not strangers anymore.

 

 

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ON A WALK ALONG THE BEACH

 

 

One way, I think, to come to a better understanding of our country…of this land…is to take a walk along the beach…and watch people playing in the sand.

 

With our first steps onto the sand…one simple thought arises…how before us stretch a sea of people in all colors…shapes and sizes.

 

This alone makes us smile but we are also pleasantly surprised to watch as an entire circle of life plays out before our eyes.

 

We see lovers holding hands…we pass a wedding…we sneak a peek…we see another couple…she’s pregnant…their baby’s due within the week.

 

As our walk continues in the cooling breeze of a Florida Autumn…we see a family with a naked baby…the sand is covering his bottom.

 

We see families with older children…their sounds drowned out by the oceans roar…running…laughing…jumping…playing catch along the shore.

 

We see older couples, just like us, walking with elegance and grace…It’s hard to find a person on the beach without a smile on their face.

 

Here’s a little something, I imagine, every seashore has to teach…people playing on the beach have no labels…they’re just people on the beach!

 

So, if you want to come to a better understanding of this country…of any country…of any land…take a walk along any beach and watch how people share the sand.

 

Yes, I imagine that’s exactly the message the seashore means to send…

as we share the sand…

the sun…

the sea together…

how easily we blend.

 

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A DAY TO REMEMBER

I believe one of the reasons the Creator gave us memories is so…once the movie is our mind is played…we can remember what brought us joy in life…as well as the mistakes we’ve made.

 

If we use our memory as intended…we will do whatever it takes…to look back on the life we’ve led…and learn from our mistakes.

 

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day…a day some people would like to hide…a day to remember the Nazi Party and their attempt at Genocide.

 

A day to remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust’s inhumanity…a day not only to remember the atrocities…but how those atrocities came to be.

 

The Nazis used propaganda…they spread misinformation…they lied…they used the latest technology to increase fear and prejudice and hate…and millions of people died.

 

And the world stood by and wondered as the Nazis tried to create…a land of white supremacy…based on vitriol and hate.

 

Today’s the day to remember…and to try and understand…a time in history when love was forgotten…and hate tried to rule the land.

 

A day to remember one country’s attempt at Genocide and to do whatever it takes…not to let that ever happen again…and to learn from their mistakes.

 

But as evidenced by the events of January 6…an insurrection some are already trying to forget…as we remember the Holocaust today…we haven’t learned its lesson yet.

 

If we do not learn from our mistakes…we will never be the people the Creator intended us to be…as I’m sure Native Americans, people of color, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community and many more of us...will readily agree.

 

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WORKS OF ART

Have you ever watched an artist paint? The canvas is blank at the start…but, eventually, by deftly adding colors…it becomes a work of art.

 

The artist begins with a pallet of colors…each color in a separate lake…when that artist takes one color and adds it to another we marvel at the new color those colors make.

 

And we realize when the painting is completed…something the artist is quick to explain…how there is no way two pieces of art can ever be the same.

 

Even if the artist tried to recreate that same picture…even if the artist painted slow…when the painting is completed…subtle differences would show.

 

But that is as it should be…from that blank canvas on which the artist starts…every painting completed is meant to be an original work of art.

 

I imagine the creator who paints our sky would also be quick to explain this is the reason why no two sunrises or sunsets will ever be the same.

 

And certainly that’s true…if you’ve ever watched them from the start…each sunrise and each sunset is an original work of art.

 

I imagine, like the sunrise, each human the artist paints is a blend of colors from the start…each one of us with our own subtle differences…each one of us an original work of art.

 

I can’t imagine the artist when deciding what colors in humans to create…had any inclination one color would dominate.

 

But that is what has happened over the years…when we humans view each other certain colors cause a fuss…but that is not the artist’s fault…the blame here lies with us…

 

And will continue to lie with us…and continue to tear us apart

until we view each other as the artist has intended…

as a beautiful blend of colors…

as original works of art.

 
 
 
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DON'T HAVE THE TIME

We hear this excuse quite a bit lately as we make our daily climb…

I have so much to do…so man responsibilities…I just don’t have the time.

 

I’m working hard for all the things I want…all the things I need

I don’t have time to exercise

to cook

to eat

I don’t have time to read.

 

I understand how busy we are in the world we’re trying to create

I only wish we were so busy…we didn’t have time to hate.

 

How wonderful would it be to hear words the world has never heard before:

I don’t have time for prejudices

I don’t have time for killing

I don’t have time for war.

 

because I’m too busy enjoying nature

spending time before each day ends

in the bosom of my family

or catching up with friends.

 

Imagine with me, if you will, a world we can create

where we’re much too busy spreading love

that we don’t have time to hate.

 

 

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THE AMERICAN DREAM

I was brought up believing in the American Dream…that every person in America…everybody…every soul…has the same opportunities to fulfill their hopes and wishes…to achieve their highest goals.

 

But for women and other Americans with a different color on their face…when it comes to the American Dream…this hasn’t always been the case.

 

There have been some Americans throughout our history who to other Americans have been more than just unkind…who have forgotten no-one created on this Earth should be enslaved, mistreated or left behind.

 

Which means the American Dream…the one instilled in us by our fathers and our mothers…

an never be called the American Dream even for some

if it’s been a nightmare for so many others.

 
 
 
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MORE FROM MY EYES

When I think about my eyes…I am filled with adulation for like many of my body parts…they’re a marvel of creation.

 

Allowing me with just a turn of my head to see the world around me.

Opening my heart and mind to the beauty that surrounds me.

 

But when I look at you, however, I find there is a limit to what my eyes can see.

The same limitations, I imagine, your eyes have…when you look at me.

 

At the moment you and I meet…the instant we begin…I can see if you’re old or young, tall or short…I can see the color of our skin.

 

These things my eyes can see from up close or even from afar…but what my eyes are unable to see…is what makes you who you are.

 

What I see is the exterior, a semblance…a facade…I cannot see what religion you are…I can’t see if you even believe in God. 

 

I can’t see what your parents were like, where you grew up, if you have enough food to eat.

I can’t see if you’re married, raising children by yourself, scraping by to make ends meet.

 

I cannot see the sexual preferences you were born with, if your brain work fast…or slow…I cannot see the experiences you’ve had in life or the gender you might be struggling to know.

 

My eyes can only see so much…because the last time that I checked…who you are is where all the things I can’t see intersect.

 

I wish there was a way to see how all these different part of you align…to view with a bit of clarity the way they intertwine.

 

If I did perhaps I’d be more accepting…perhaps I wouldn’t begrudge…perhaps if my eyes could see a little more…a little clearer…I’d be less likely to misjudge.

 

Perhaps this simple wish will, one day, come to be…until then I’ll try to remember there is so much more to you than what my eyes first see.

 
 
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COMMUTATIVE PROPERTY

I was taught the commutative property of addition back when I still counted on my fingers and my thumbs…which stated: no matter how we group our addends…it doesn’t change the sum.

 

When I grew up I left the commutative property behind…

I didn’t think it had much worth…until I heard someone say the other day…

One People

One Love

One Earth.

 

We may not all look alike and we may pray under different steeples 

But when all is said and done we are still

One Earth

One Love

One People.

 

I hope the next time we pray to whatever God we pray to…

as we look up and search the sky above…

we pray that we remember we are:

One Earth

One People

One Love

 

And as we look backward and forward at a world that because of us is misbegotten…

let us pray we can remember the math we have long ago forgotten.

 

Math we were taught when we still counted on our fingers and our thumbs…

that no matter how we group our addends…

it does not change the sum..

 
 
 
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HOW I LIKE MY FOOD

I just happened to grow up this way…it’s not something I was taught…

but when it comes to my food preferences…epicurean I am not.

 

Some people like to separate their food…they think that’s the way it taste great…

I approach this from a different angle…I mix everything on my plate.

 

I don’t know how to explain it but to me a meal isn’t splendid

until all the food groups set before me have come together and been blended.

 

I have a friend, he is a food critic, who thinks most meals I disgrace…

I only know when I mix everything together…I love the way it tastes.

 

I love the way the colors blend but what I truly savor

is how, with every bite, I get a different blended flavor.

 

Deborah says it’s like feeding a dog but I am not subdued

I mean…show me any dog out there who doesn’t love their food!

 

Again I can’t explain it but to me it’s easily comprehended

and I make no apologies for loving food that’s all been blended…

 

I don’t expect everyone in the world to eat their food this way

(that would be nothing short of rude)

but I do think it would be wonderful if everyone in the world

blended together…as easily as my food?

 

 

 

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