There is a lack of mutual respect which fuels the misunderstanding, violence and hatred so evident in society today. The differences we have are strengths, not weaknesses. In fact, it is our rich diversity that makes this country so vibrant and unique. Our oneness looks more like a multi-layered quilt than a homogenized melting pot.
I'm always skeptical when someone quips that they are 'color blind' while discussing issues surround race. Saying such a thing strips the other person of their distinctive flavor and negates the special gifts we each have to offer. People don't have to want the same things. We don't have to worship the same way. In fact, we don't need anything in common at all to have mutual respect.
I was listening to an interview with Dee Margo, mayor of El Paso following the mass shooting in his town. In response to a question concerning gun violence, he offered some good home spun Texas wisdom saying;
"There's a lot goin' on in America right now. We’re gonna have to deal with it on all levels."
He is right of course. There are no simple solutions to the surge of hatespeak and horrific bloodshed we are experiencing. Much has to be done to change our direction and few options should be eliminated. But a first dose of healing would be to put away our measuring sticks. This will allow us to regard the sacred dignity of one another and generate an energy which flows both ways. The resulting mutual regard will transform into mutual respect. And it's almost impossible to hate or hurt someone you respect.