|My front door with the new solar lights|
Recently I had dinner with my best friend and a bunch of her friends and relatives. We used to argue to the point of screaming at each other about politics. Some people are just sure to their very soul that they are "right," and have no respect for people who aren't. She falls into that group. At dinner on Sunday, they started talking about politics - and threw in religion for good measure. They mocked politicians, religious leaders, and public figures. I kept my mouth shut somehow. And later in the conversation, I mentioned, with no ax to grind, my own religious affiliation (the one they had just mocked). Because although I don't need to defend any politician (however I may wish to), I cannot deny my faith.
Blessedly, there was no screaming involved. If I had stated my political opinion, I am quite sure there would have been. I am grateful that I have learned when to shut my mouth and sometimes I actually practice that! When looking for the similarities, there is usually some small morsel in the conversation that can be seized upon to find common ground. If that is your intention.
I am a person who is trying to practice these principles in all my affairs. That means respecting others. It means learning to live without resentment. It means being honest - and trustworthy. For me, this is work because it does not come naturally.
There are people in my life that sorely tempt me to live in resentment. I would love to dwell on how wrong they are and retaliate. However, the price I pay for indulging in this may be my very life. So, I opt to try to find common ground.
I have lately been praying in my office a lot. I have been going out of my way to try to get along with a couple of people. I have done this before and have found that miracles really do happen when you are willing to let go of your pride and ego and try to be of service to God and your fellows. We are not at the miracle stage yet - just the hard part stage. But I have faith and trust in God. He has never let me down.
In the immortal words of the famous philosopher Rodney King:
"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"