Ev had oral surgery today to remove the snaggletooth which remained from his accident a week ago. (You can read about it here.) it was a long day–an exhausting one. Perhaps I will blog about some of the humorous parts later, but for now, I am choosing to do some wondering of my own–to share some hopes and dreams I have for Ev’s in-the-future-grown-up world–especially since today marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
I wonder why it is we are so attached to labels in our culture. I have observed the way labels divide and separate: the way they become boundaries that hold in, keep out and declare what is good–what belongs. While I realize that as humans we have an innate need to name and to categorize, there is a difference between creating order that clears the way for relationships and creating boundaries that block them.
Inclusion, that marvelous wonder of a principle, draws in, erasing lines of division and defining space for story; it involves lives lived in real time only. Inclusion puts faces to labels; it celebrates our humanity. When stories begin to have faces, our common connection of humanity draws us toward one another instead of pushing us apart. Inclusiveness becomes the initiator of reconciliation–the arm of “justice and liberty for all” which crosses over boundaries with an olive branch.
In that moment of connection, we must listen to every one sitting around the table. Our viewpoint must be one that chooses to listen. We must pursue the ideal that no one deserves to get treated as a prisoner of conscience and stay in the closet frightened into silence–regardless of whether we share or agree with their views. Reconciliation means that both sides must listen.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that
“Whom you would change you must first love.” It only takes a nano second of peaceful and productive discourse, of kind and loving communication, and of listening without speaking to break free into a new world filled with hope–a great big step toward lovingasawayofliving.