Day 20 | Deciding Simply to Be Better
BY DR. NICHOLAS MITCHELL | March 25, 2019
What if we, as a society, decided to not be racist, sexist, anti-LGBT, and xenophobic? This begins in our communities—because society is only a series of interconnected communities. The natural environment for humanity is the intimate community. We are born, live, and die in such communities. We form the most important relationships of our lives from the family we are born into, to the family we choose—and out of that, we create our intimate communities.
Left to our own devices, humans will form community with anyone. The propagators of racism, sexism, anti-LGBT sentiments, and xenophobia know this, which is why they spread their hate in order to break apart what is natural. These sowers of discord have been so successful that the brokenness of segregated community is traditional in America, while the inclusive intimate community is radical and transgressive. We should all be radical and transgressive when it comes to creating community.
I know we can leave these toxic world views behind—because I’ve seen it happen.
It’s ironic that human beings find our best selves when nature, such as with a hurricane, comes in and destroys these artificial walls we have put around ourselves. In the wake of a powerful storm, for some odd reason, all of a sudden we don’t care about what color a person is, what religion they are, who a person loves, or what language they speak. In the storm, we do what is natural—we form community and save each other. In those moments during the storm, we all recognize that a cry for help sounds the same in every tongue and for a moment, we as communities and as a society decide simply to be better.
What if we were like that in fair-weather as well as in the tempest?
What perfect timing for me … this reflection comes to me as I question a new friendship… over coffee my friend has revealed such deep and ingrained racist attitudes… do I jump ship and never see her again or do I try to “look at her and love her” as Jesus would … is it possible that I can demonstrate to her a different way of being? I pray for discernment… always choosing Christ in the world.
It’s non-stop and healthy. Being better – it’s an ongoing challenge.