January 14, 2016

The Benefit of Accepting Different Viewpoints

One of the advantages of the Information Age is the exposure to a variety of  viewpoints, lifestyles, and cultures. It’s true diversity, not only the “diversity” that’s accepted only as long as it conforms to a given political philosophy.

We often find that we have a lot in common with the person who lives halfway across the world from us. Their language, manner of dress, food, lifestyle, and manner of worship may differ from ours. Their basic wants and needs are the same, though. We all want to feel loved and accepted.

The Alliance for Self-Published Authors

I belong to this Google+  community. Members include authors from around the world.Our preferred genres range from nonfiction to fantasy to romance. Our cultures, writing styles, and tastes differ. Group members don’t even think alike, judging by various conversation threads. Yet, we try to support each other’s work.  

My Daughter

Her two best friends are Catholic and Hindu. My family are members of a Christian denomination. Religious differences don’t bother the young ladies.  They concentrate on their commonalities:
  • Shared intrests in music and entertainment
  • Academic excellence
  • Priority on family

Touched by an Angel

This is a Christian drama series from the early 1990’s. A recent episode featured a young archaeologist who was digging in a spot sacred to the Navajo Indians. It was sacred because some Navajo had been slaughtered there by the government in the 1800’s. The tribal council wanted the archaeologist to stop digging, but he refused.

The young man was of Jewish descent, but he didn’t practice the faith. In fact, he had married a Catholic lady. His estranged grandfather, Paul, arrived on the scene of the dig. He wanted to reconcile with his grandson.

The Jewish grandfather and the Navajo tribal elder found they had many things in common, including the massacre of many of their people. They learned to respect each other’s spiritual beliefs and values. They tried to get the archaeologist to do the same.

Sadly, the ailing Paul died. The Jewish grandfather was buried on the sacred Navajo ground. At the funeral, the Navajo elder said a few words. Then, the archaeologist read from a traditional Jewish prayer book—possibly for the first time ever. The cultures blended seamlessly.

My Conclusion

When you scratch the surface, we aren’t really so different. Despite variations in culture, language, values, and appearance, we share the same basic needs.

We are all on this journey together. Our lives will be enriched if we open ourselves to a variety of perspectives.

Luke 10:30-36 tells the story of The Good Samaritan. A Jewish man was robbed, beaten, and left for dead on a certain road. Two religious Jewish people passed by him on the other side of the street. It was the passerby from Samaria, a nearby province scorned by the Jewish people, who helped the wounded man. He didn’t worry about differences. The Samaritan saved the man’s life and financed his recovery.

How have you accepted different points of view?

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