Thursday, May 8, 2008

Commonalities

I love people.

Someone told me my enthusiasm is infectious! I hope so. I just love God's people.

I'm intrigued by cultures and learning new languages, trying new foods (to a point!), and exploring new arts. This is one thing that keeps me searching beyond the racial divide...commonalities.

Yesterday was a pivotal day. First I read all the blogs and news reports about Barack Obama's decisive lead over Hillary Clinton. Then I thought about all the Main Stream Media's attempts over the past few weeks to incite a verbal/mental race war just for ratings. I thought about the recent events here in Kirkwood. And I wondered what points of commonality could be reached in the nation, in my state, and in my community.

I've been blessed to be a part of brave people in Kirkwood, MO who decided it was time to talk about the 1000lb elephant...white privilege and institutional racism. So we came together every month since the February 7th shooting. We sat in small groups across from each other and we talked about what it was like to live in this small section of the St. Louis Metro Area. White people listened to Black people recount incidents of prejudice and racism. Black people listened as White people talked about how they thought it (racism) was over. The exchanges varied in group to group, but in all the groups - there was the quest for understanding, healing, and commonality.

People discovered they shared similar values - God, family, community. They discovered there were different expressions of those values - such as how we worship, extended family, foods, etc. All the people who came to the Community for Understanding and Healing Dialogues all walked away a little bit different, just a little bit more compassionate, and a little bit more wiser...we learned something.

We are going into the summer months here in Kirkwood. That means kids out of school, summer camps, baseball, swimming, reading, leisure, vacations. It also means a time to find something in common with our fellow man. I enjoy a good books so I'm joining the CFUH Summer Book Club. I love a good cup of coffee so I'll spend lots of afternoons looking at the fountain outside Kaldi's Coffee Shop. I am searching for ways to connect the people God has placed in my path.

I will never say it is easy. It is not easy to erase years of memories, but it is easy to walk across the square, say hello, and wish someone a good day. Commonalities...we all have them.

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