Diversity

Diversity_Hands

How do we respond to that word? Diversity. How does it make us feel? Nervous, open, closed? Just how much diversity do you want from me? ! Am I supposed to accept everybody ? Isn’t that Jesus’ job, not mine ! Can’t I pick and choose diversity, where it’s comfortable ? I hope some of you are chuckling at least. Are these the questions for all of us, not just me ?

I believe in diversity and acceptance for everyone, but living it out isn’t always as easy. I can be very diverse and accepting on one had and not so much on the other. Here’s the big catch for me. I can’t be exclusive while Jesus was inclusive. I can’t pick and choose when God doesn’t.  I know I have felt like an outsider in many of life’s forums and settings. I am mixed blood, mixed culture, hell plain mixed up most of the time. Although my humanity shines through more often than I’d like, it’s not a reason to not keep on trying. To keep building bridges and not walls. How could I choose to live a life where I would act against anyone ……..and still call myself a believer of the Christ. That’s a big catch. There’s no reconciliation in that thinking. So I must keep opening my heart.

I recently attended a lecture at Belmont University to hear Richard Twiss speak. Richard is a Lakota and was raised most of his life on the Rosebud Rez in S.D. You can find some of his life’s work at http://www.wiconi.com.

Richard spoke in part on behalf of not only his people but really for us all. We’re all in this big ole world together, and for any of us to have peace, we must get along. We must embrace other cultures and honor that they have traditions and ways that are just as important as ours. They want peace and want to watch their children grow just like us. Richard had a cool line that said “in order for there to be unity, there must be diversity”. Great line. The Father, Son, Holy Ghost. That’s more than one. But yet they are the same. One maker.

So maybe you say these are just ramblings of an old man with too much time on his hands. Maybe you are right. I have no answers, but I do have questions. I ask them of myself everyday. I slip and stumble more than I run, but boy, when I do run a little it feels good. It feels peaceful and fuller in spirit. There is a Lakota term, Mitakuye Oyasin, it loosely means “we are all related”. If so, we are all brothers and sisters. Ok I’ll shut up for now. As always, I welcome comments of any kind. I learn much from them. Peace

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