Ripples v10.31: The Joy of Difference!
August 4, 2008: a free weekly splash to 19,932 subscribers
from Paul & The Ripples Project
We are all different, but everyone dreams in the same colors.
-source unknown, submitted by Faith G.
The sharing of joy,
whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual,
forms a bridge between the sharers
which can be the basis for understanding
much of what is not shared between them,
and lessens the threat of their difference.
-Audre Lorde, submitted by Jana F., Random Lake WI
Behind the storm of daily conflict and crisis, the
dramatic confrontations, the tumult of political struggle,
the poet, the artist, the musician, continues the quiet work
of centuries, building bridges of experience between
peoples, reminding man of the universality of his feelings
and desires and despairs, and reminding him that the
forces that unite are deeper than those that divide.
-John F. Kennedy, submitted by Debra E., Twinsburg OH
I had a great week of travels: spending some time with the Family Care unit of Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati and then a day with the Advancement & College Relations folks at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. And the end of July wouldn’t be the same without a few hours to fire up the Loaned Executives at the Dane County United Way as they prepare to kick off their fall campaign. I’m in San Diego now but I’ll tell you more about that next week.
The Audre Lorde quote above mentions “the threat of their difference” and I am often amazed at how threatened I can feel when initially detecting DIFFERENCE between me and someone I encounter. Whether it is a different political perspective, cultural upbringing, or even a general outlook on life, my first instinct is often to hesitate or even withdraw to the safety of my tribe, the people I have known the longest and I have much in common with. Of course it is so often the case that once I move beyond my initial fear and embrace the challenge of getting to know this WHOLE PERSON who surely has some things in common with me in addition to our differences, we find joy in both the commonalities and the distinctions.
Can you think of someone you cross paths with somewhat regularly that is DIFFERENT than you in some way? What could happen this week if we all agreed to spend a bit more time and energy seeking the JOY in that DIFFERENCE?