I found myself reading today from Luke 14:15-24, the Parable of the Great Banquet. A man throws a banquet and all on his guest list come up with excuses not to attend – so he sends his folks out into the street to “go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” to attend the banquet.
I won’t pretend to fully understand this parable – yet – but this occurred to me. I have a tendency to associate with people who think, act, and look like me – we seem to think of that as a “natural” bias, but on reflection, there is little “natural” in that. We do that by programming, not by natural selection. A blind person is not blind by choice, nor a poor person, a lame person. A black person, a brown person, a white person – none are the color they are by choice. And interestingly, as we each associate in our respective groups, we all see each other as “normal” – because we all ARE normal (whatever the hell “normal” is).
It is time to widen the circle. Each of us can be a benefactor, a student, a teacher of the other – if we open our hearts and minds and allow that to occur. That is, of course, a big IF.