What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

10 April 2011

Why Can't We Be Friends?

This doesn't really have anything to
do with the post. But, you know,
it was all green and stuff, so it kind
of fit.
I just finished reading Better Off, by Eric Brende. It's the story of he and his wife spending 18 months in an Amish-like community that eschews motorized things and pretty much any technology beyond the bare minimum. It's a lovely read, which I do recommend if you're looking for a nice memoir.

One obstacle that the Brendes encountered was lack of a common faith; he and his wife are Catholic, but the community they were a part of are Protestant Anabaptists. Eric writes about various steps they made to reconcile the different faiths of themselves and their neighbours, including visiting the local church and having conversations about scripture.

A conclusion he reached over and over again was that the more he got to know his neighbours, the less it mattered to him that they didn't share a common faith. They still had their conversations, his friends still used scripture fluently in conversation, but their differences didn't stop them from being friends.

In the midst of a nation that is conflicted over every little thing that makes us different from one another, I find this perspective refreshing. What would it be like, I wonder, if we decided that what unites us really is stronger than what divides us? On every level, not just our religion? What would that look like?

So, there's my utopian fantasy of the day. What's yours?


Pk Hrezo said...

An interesting thought. I truly do believe that folks can simply agree to disagree. After all, variety is the spice of life. The world would be so boring if we were all carbon copies of one another.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if we could just look for similarities instead of differences....then we could relax and celebrate the differences. I don't want to live in a cookie cutter world.

JEFritz said...

I think that would be my utopia, too. A place where people talked and realized they didn't have to share the same beliefs in everything... wonderous.

Nas Dean said...

I think it is an interesting thought. We don't really need to share the same beliefs to chat with people and be friendly!

Su said...

Yep, I agree, everybody. Next step: How do we create this little utopia?

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I think you nailed it. Once we do get to know something the differences become minor. I think we have all of these quarrels because we don't take the time to know each other.

Su said...

This reminds me (don't know why I didn't think of it earlier) of my rhetoric instructor last semester talking about how we have to create an enemy: make them different from us, think of them as less than human, etc. Guess it works just as well in everyday life as in war. :(

Kerri said...

Great post - I have a similar fantasy! I am really loving your posts, your gratitude list on the sidebar, your writing style, etc. etc! You remind me of a cousin - I sent your site link to her. Best wishes, and thanks for writing! http://www.practicingcontemplative.blogspot.com/

Kate said...

I think the only thing we really can do is to make sure that WE as individuals are practicing this and pray it rubs off on other people!

Su said...

@Kerri: Wow, thank you! Glad you stopped by!

@Kate: Yes, each person is only responsible for herself (alas!). So it is important to watch one's own speech/behaviour carefully.