When I can pull it off, positive intent is my friend. I
don’t need to waste precious time or energy writing negative
scripts for others and attributing motivation to their every
move. The bottom line is that I am not a mind reader. A
posture of curiosity and positive intent, even if it is only inside
of my thoughts, leads to greater compassion and grace for each
and every “other” that I interact with along my way.
Many of us have either been told or directly
experienced the “it’s who you know” phenomenon in social,
educational, or work life. Despite the inequity of such a
principle, it is alive and well and inescapable within our culture.
I have also come to realize that the “it’s who you know”
concept also applies to our biases, prejudices, and fears toward
those we deem as “other.” During the time when I raised my
sons, I taught them to be kind to all. But I rarely sought out
the company of people that were so often labeled “other” by
my religion or culture. As an adoptive mom, there were more
natural opportunities to interact with people of varying races,
religions, and perspectives. I accepted the invitation to interact
with and get to know a diverse group of people.
A particular overnight field trip comes to mind. The
excitement had been palpable in our home for well over a
week. Our girl, who goes through life with most of her
emotions on the inside, had been visibly joyous with
anticipation for this rite of passage, an end of elementary days
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