I have this thought that fear has taken over our ability to live and love with an open heart.
Fear of losing what we believe rightfully belongs to us. To which I have to ask, what does belong to us? What does belong to you? Belong; the property of. Property. You are not property. I am not property. Your kids are not, your spouse is not, etc. etc. etc. Maybe you belong to a church, a group, a community, but you are still not property.
So is it a fear of losing something that is inherently your own personal beliefs, yours and yours alone? No one can take that away from you, it is yours and yours alone. Celebrate it, but don’t hold it over another.
Here’s the thing. There are probably eight billion people in the world. So imagine how many of those who have beliefs that are not yours or even diametrically opposed to you. This is our world, this is your world. It is not a threat unless you open yourself up to the difference and see it as a threat. Freedom is freedom and to place your belief over another is a shadow over another their freedom. We have a lot of work to do in terms of equality. Lots of work.
If we replaced our fear with understanding, that while we may have a different faith or a different political affiliation, are we taking the time to understand the human and the heart of our neighbor, our co-worker or friend? Are we there to listen to understand and embrace the difference and not as a threat to our own belief?
It started early for me, grade school. When I think about it today, I feel that lump in my throat and it makes me sad. There was a girl in my many of my classes who because of her religion, her Mom came and picked her up for any and all holiday celebrations the rest of us had. Her Mom came picked her up and she left school. While I didn’t see it, I see it now like I had, she and her Mom walking down that long empty hall to leave her class because we needed to celebrate Halloween. Even then I thought, why are we doing something that excludes this person? Why do the rest of us have to be so arrogant that our belief, our celebration is so much more important that we allowed it to exclude her?
Some of you know me. Some of you don’t, really. What both of you have in common is that you do not truly know my heart. We haven’t had the opportunity to have that conversation. You do not know my deepest beliefs. I don’t know yours. You might think you have a hint or an idea because of something I put here. Or I might think I know you because of a post. But neither is knowing the heart.
Some of your shared posts that say, whatever, are generalizations that exclude your friends and neighbors and they have no foundation of truth. And actually are counter to what I think the intention is.
We are humans. We have hopes, dreams and aspirations. We all believe differently, even if we sit next to each other in the pew on Sunday morning. My belief, your belief will never be THE belief of a world full of billions.
How do we come together in harmony? Let go a little of the fear, hold your truth and allow your heart to be open to others and celebrate the beauty of the differences. Our hopes and dreams aren’t that different.