We Are More Alike Than We Are Different – Loving Thy Neighbor

Something happened to me since I had that moment with the light in Spain last summer.

I used to be a political junkie, but since I turned off the talking heads, my life has been so much better. No more of listening to, or watching the “Something bad is getting ready to happen because of what the other side is doing”show. I could no longer listen to how the other side is wrong and our side is right. This was just too divisive for me. Getting away from this; I found there are just too many good things in life to enjoy.

Having heard the recent political uproar about illegal immigrants and painting all of them with a broad brush of crime and no good, troubles me. I am not getting into an immigration political debate, but I am called to discuss the humanity of this subject.

A recent post had a link to a news clip which demonstrated with statistics of how these immigrants statistically commit more offences than us. I then ask who is us? They even went on to show specific examples where some committed terrible crimes. It is true, but take any class of people and you can demonstrate that some in this group commit terrible crimes.

Why is it throughout history this feeling of superiority is repeated time and time again: We are better than them because “fill in the blank”….. Our religion is better than theirs because “fill in the blank”. I think of recent history, I grew up in the South and growing up I heard comments about African Americans. There even used to be posters on the utility poles in my home town that stated “Don’t Be Half a Man; Join the Klan”. These deeply troubled me and I felt I had to speak out. Once when I encountered a grand dragon of the Klan, we got into a heated debate.  This ended with him coming after me with a club, but this is a different story for a different day. Throughout our history this demonization has also happened to the Native Americans, Irish, the Japanese, Muslims and the list goes on.

Think of our world history when this practice has spun out of control. .

Walking through Dachau

It started with a sign; a simple sign with an arrow pointing to Dachau.

We had flown into Munich to meet friends for a planned holiday. We were excited about going to a new place and staying in a mountain home in Austria built in 1600; we were not planning to run face to face, into the worst of mankind.

Something about that sign called on us to turn and check out this place. Walking on these grounds you can feel the death; it seems to radiate from the earth. It is impossible to comprehend how something like this could happen. Now is not the time to go into all the awful details about this concentration camp, but here I learned a very important lesson.

As we listened to a tour guide he explained how this happened. Initially it started with the propaganda that the Jewish were somehow a threat and inferior. Early on it grew to calling for a boycott of Jewish businesses. Over time as a group they were labeled as corrupt with many being called criminals. Unfortunately we all know what eventually happened. It should be noted the Nazis were against Gypsies, Social Democrats, other opposing politicians, opponents of Nazism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, habitual criminals, “anti-socials” and the mentally ill. How could this happen?

How do we keep this from happening again? I believe it begins at home in your everyday life. Its though meeting and getting to know others in your community.

One thing I have learned in our travels when you meet people from all over the world; we are more alike than different. We find it really cool to discover the cultural differences, especially the food.

I have also found on our Move walks in Tallahassee, I meet different people from all walks of life. Something happens when we learn about each other. We no longer see our differences and this is really magical.

I am not a big Bible Scholar but I did find in Matthew 22:36-40 it states:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Make a commitment and start today. Reach out and meet people you do not already know. It could be in your neighborhood, at your school or church, or at work. Start today and connect with others, or come out and walk with us on the next Move walk.

Please come join Morgan and I this Sunday at 10;30AM as we speak, explore these subjects and share our spiritual experiences at Unity Eastside Church located on Buck Lake Road.

There is Really Something Out There.

Gregg Patterson
Gregg.patterson@yahoo.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s