Tuesday, August 05, 2014

ONLY FOR MYSELF AND MY GROUP



Jim Wayne Miller (1936-1996) has a character in his novel His First, Best Country reply when confronted with the fact he is talking to himself again with “I have a lot to say to myself.” 

As I read that scene I was struck by the fact that the character was probably speaking for most folks I had heard or seen talking to themselves over the years.  We almost always assume they are responding to some voice they hear, but that is not really the truth.

In fact, most of us walk through life making assumptions about people we don’t know.  We judge them by the way they speak.  We decide who they are by the clothes they wear or by the cars they drive.  On Patty’s and my recent trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary we were getting into our car when a man pecked on my window and motioned for me to roll it down.  I did.  He said, “What are you doing driving your son’s car?”  I was so stunned I couldn’t say anything. Patty says he thought he was being funny, but I didn’t see anything funny about him thinking a 65 year old man should not be driving a red Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

The problem is we keep using the wrong yardstick when we look at each other.  That is why the world has so many wars spread all over the globe and ethnic and faith groups are separated in every part of our planet.

We fail to look at a person’s heart and dreams.  If we did we would find that we have much in common with most people on this planet. We all want basically the same thing. The problem is we seem to only want it for ourselves or for our own group.

Only for myself and my group is the most destructive drive we have.  This selfishness needs to be turned into selflessness.  Then and only then will the dreams of little children around the world begin to grow into reality and peace can be seen on the horizon.

© Ed Cooper, August 5, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
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