From the Author

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Who is my neighbor?

The news has been filled with stories about people have lost their lives due to confrontations with or against police.  There are many issues that are apparent including race. control, bigotry, power vs. powerlessness, poverty, distrust, weapons, anger. fear. prejudice, profiling, courage, cowardice, and justice.

I have known many people who boldly admit to prejudice but have "exceptions" to the rule. If they are racist about black people, they usually have an individual black person who is "different" that they respect and like.  What makes the difference?  Many people judge others for skin color, sexual orientation, educational status, financial status, living conditions, immigration or any other possible reason.  It is easy to form a superficial opinion about someone we don't know or someone we fear. Prejudice loses its power when we get to meet people on a one on one basis and become knowledgeable about their lives.  We are all more alike than we are different.  After we get to know others, the fear gradually fades away and trust can develop.

Many of those who have been killed through violence, are just innocent bystanders at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Others are killed simply because of prejudice.  Others die because they have committed a crime and are endangering themselves, family or the public.

If we, as a society, can create opportunities for dialog, interaction, education, compassion, and understanding, we can begin to break down the walls of prejudice and create peaceful interactions. Violence only breeds more violence. Forgiveness and love. with God's help, can change the world. It is necessary to try to make living easier for all of us because we are all dependent on each other environmentally, economically, emotionally and psychologically.  We can change the world by accepting and loving one person at a time. We can help those we know about to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We can pray for peace and for the victims of violence.

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