open the door to relationship with interesting people, many
who come at life from very different perspectives.
My personal journey went something like this: I first
began to listen to the voice of others, I was forced to listen to
the voices of my children, and then I received the grace to
listen to my own voice. At times, I worked so hard to protect
the religious turf in my mind that I could not look up and out
to truly see the beauty in those so often marked as other. In
reality the questions and push back on the status quo of my
earliest religion was there from the start. I just needed to
cultivate and receive the freedom and courage to entertain
other ideas and points of view.
As we interact with people in our daily lives, we rarely
know the backstory of those who cross our paths. Public
encounters with strangers or people we don’t know well can
be fraught with misunderstanding and judgments. The reality
is that each person in any encounter comes to that moment
with a story, a history. It may be full of pain and suffering. We
just don’t know.
I recently observed ignorance like this when my friend,
who sometimes walks with a cane due to rheumatoid arthritis,
was mocked at our local grocery store. A stranger yelled to her
“Why are you using a cane? You are too young for that.” It
stung. She had been judged right there in the produce aisle.
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