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.
Reading her account of this on Facebook pierced my heart. I
have also felt the sting of a stranger’s judgment.
Going to the library with my daughters is one of my
greatest joys. On a beautiful, sunny day, my elementary aged
girls bounded from the car with excitement. The youngest had
just left the car and called back to me, “Mom can you grab my
bag?” That’s how we lug the big stacks of books that we mine
from the shelves. I picked up the bag and a stranger said,
“NOOOOOOO, she needs to learn to do things for herself.”