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Reviewing a Year of Differences

This video is from Steve Hartman's On the Road


I am amazed at the year, thus far. We have been challenged with a pandemic and more recently the Twin Cities made the news in a most unpleasant way. What is most striking is that our nation's people have been looking at each other's differences. It seems that our country is evenly split on political views, and that has spilled into views regarding the COVID pandemic and how each of us are dealing with it.

Some people believe that they shouldn't have to wear masks to go shopping. Others, including our own small medical center in rural Minnesota, have been touched in numerous ways by the current pandemic, and we are concerned for the health of all of our patients and families. Some feel that the best way to stop the rioting in our country is with a show of force. Yet, in this unprecedented time, some police officers have knelt and prayed with those protesters, trying to create some sense of understanding in this time of hurt and anguish.

In my own childhood in small town West Texas, in 1972 something unprecedented happened: I met my friend Mark. Although a developing friendship would not seem to be very noteworthy, I would say that it was, since Mark was a black kid who was bussed from his home "across the tracks." Across the tracks was the division in our town, an answer to "separate but equal" places where people of color resided.

And indeed, the place where Mark lived was separate, but it was not equal.

As noted in the video from Steve Hartman at the top of this post, it is interesting to me that the two children do not seem to notice the "biggest" difference between the two of them. But what I find most compelling in this story is that the children emphasized their similarities as opposed to their differences. Sweetly and movingly, these two children have gone through their earlier years in looking at the beautiful common features that they have as opposed to looking at the differences they possess.

This is what may help us get through this trying time. We need to start finding some common ground, some positive ways of looking at other people on this planet. The divisiveness in our country needs revamping, and each of us needs to find that common strings that can attach us to others on this planet.


Music Played Around the World


My hope is that this tragic week gives us a few moments to reflect and to renew our resolve to find the common thread that us humans have with each other.

After all, it's a matter of our survival and it's a testament of our resilience if we can move forward differently after the storm clouds have moved and after the rain has fallen. We can't forget these tough times, but we can create a stronger foundation for all of us if we decide to change because of these challenges we all are facing.


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