Sunday, March 28, 2010

what were they thinking?

What were they thinking? Have you ever said that, looking back on some historical event or movement? Did you scratch your head and wonder how people could think in a certain way and either promote or allow something to happen that today we all (or mostly all) think was wrong? Like "whites only" signs and attitudes in the South, internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry in WWII, the Hollywood blacklist and other Red Scare tactics, or the continual racial/ethnic stereotyping of a many immigrants ove the years.

Hindsight, it is said, is always 20-20, but in order to prevent future folks from being tasked with the same retrospective we need to be proactive about things in the present. What things do we do now,or allow with rationalization that may at first glance appear rational, but upon reflection reveal our prejudices? And what prompts us to be that way?

Part of the reason is that we fail to walk in others' shoes - think in terms of how something will affect others and not just ourselves. We let fear rule, let our comfort zone feelings make a moral judgment on others, instead of embracing change and diversity. And, sometimes we either think anything we do or say in contradiction to what is being done or said will either make no difference or bring on us the ire of too many people.

We need to put ourselves in the picture (in the situation) and see how we would feel if the same things were done to or said about us. As Jesus said, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or as the English poet (a man of faith) John Donne said, "no man is an island entire of itself, we are part of the whole, each man's death diminishes me, send not therefore for whom to bell tolls, it tolls for thee".

We are all in this together, and we must be there for each other. It is a mandate of heaven

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