I am at Starbucks the other day, and as I sipped my White Chocolate Mocha, this woman and her husband walked in and sat on the couch just in front of me.
I wasn’t eve dropping or anything, neither was trying to be intrusive. Everyone could hear her. She was a that loud.
Very casually, she said to her friend, on the phone – “I rear-ended a car this morning. The guy in the other car was a dwarf. So he stepped out of his car, walked over to mine, and said, ‘Mame, I am not happy.'”
She said she looked “DOWN’ at him and said, “well, I am not sure which one are you?”
Giggles.. giggles… giggles…
After laughing a few seconds with her friend, she looked at me, kind of surprised that I was not laughing at her joke, and said, “hey, would you like to take a look at the bug that invaded my pomegranate tree? They are bizarre.”
I didn’t want her to hear me say, “no Mame, you are bizarre.” So I kept my thoughts to myself and took a look.
I was upset about of the fact that she rear-ended a car, could had hurt or killed the man, and walked away cracking jokes about his height.
Why do we take pleasure in belittling others? Why do we think of ourselves better than others? What is it, within our nature, that seek to humiliate others?
Racism – discrimination and prejudice
Are all geared toward making others less than who they are – human beings, made in the very image of God.
What is it, that makes us think we are any better than others?
I’ve come to realize that this a disease of the soul that only God can cure. Sometimes we expect too much from people blinded by demons of racism and hate. We fail to realize that only a true conversion, repentance, and redemption can heal a heart of bigotry.
Having said that, I also think each of us need to make conscious efforts to improve our relationship with people who are different from us.
I know what it means to be the only black family in my town. I know what it means to be the only black family in my predominantly white church – the one I pastor. It is amazing to see what God can do when you make the effort to get to know others. You soon find out that your story is not different from their story at all. You begin to see OTHERS clearly.
With just a little effort, Shelby Steel says, a relentless, everyday, earnest and practical sacrifice, we can bridge the ever-widening gap between the races, by an adherence to the principles of fairness and equality.
These principles, “even when somewhat ambiguous, have the power to assign responsibility and knowledge” to help us act wisely and treat others with dignity and respect.
No matter how different we are, we can learn to love one another and see each other clearly. If we can begin to treat each other properly and see each other as equals, in fact, more than that – as the bible says it – “see others as better than ourselves” – we would be on the way to curing the disease of belittling others.