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Posts Tagged ‘love’

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Photo: Erin Clark for the Boston Globe
Lucy Wisson hugged her son, Giani DiTrapani, in their Port Huron home. Giani, a junior at Michigan State University, had always shared his mom’s political beliefs. Then in fall 2017, he went to college.

A recent Boston Globe story by Liz Goodwin (here) about how politics is both dividing — and not dividing — families spoke to a growing preoccupation of mine. Even the Dalai Lama tweets about it: how do we find common ground and things to love about people who think very differently from us? Next to climate change and inequality, that may be the biggest challenge of our time.

What struck me most in reading about the religious, politically conservative young man who went off to college and began to think differently from his mother was the mother’s tolerance and ability to change enough to stay close to him. I thought, Wow, I really don’t agree with all her views, but I do see that there are things about which she has an open mind.

We can always learn.

The Lothlorien elf Haldir in the Fellowship of the Ring says, “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but there is still much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps greater.” Now there’s a thought to ponder! That love in times of darkness grows more powerful.

So here’s a poem to help us all remember that we really do know how to appreciate things about people who are not like us.

Small Kindnesses
~ a poem by Danusha Lameris ~

“I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
“down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
“to let you by. Or how strangers still say ‘bless you’
“when someone sneezes, a leftover
“from the Bubonic plague. ‘Don’t die,’ we are saying.
“And sometimes, when you spill lemons
“from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
“pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
“We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
“and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
“at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
“to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
“and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
“We have so little of each other, now. So far
“from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
“What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
“fleeting temples we make together when we say, ‘Here,
“have my seat,’ ‘Go ahead — you first,’ ‘I like your hat.’ ”

Oh, my, oh, my! Bless all poets!

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We have no idea what Wednesday will bring, but let’s do this. Let’s commit to focusing on what we once shared with that friend whose life path led him to a different decision. Let’s honor his or her life path if not the most recent destination. We’ve had different life experiences.

Let’s focus on what we both like: the funny things small children say, lazy days at the beach, imaginative Halloween costumes, the blended aromas of a Thanksgiving kitchen, Peter Pan.

There’s no need to bring Abe Lincoln into this, but well, you know: A house divided against itself cannot stand.

As I passed by on my walk last Thursday, this engraving with its old-fashioned wording spoke to me.

110316-let-all-your-things-be-done-with-love

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