Polarized thinking

Originally Posted on March 4, 2009 – I found this as I’m doing some maintenance on my websites. I thought I’d share it again. Maybe it will start a conversation, a relationship and I’ve heard relationships resolve racism.

The desert. Standing in the desert before dawn looking up. The sky is clear. The air is cold and you can see the center of our galaxy called the Milky Way. More stars than ever before. You see motion just out of your field of view and adjust to look at whatever that is. It’s moving fast and in a laser-straight line. Not like a plane. No blinking lights and it’s much faster. It’s moving really fast. Relax, it is not a UFO but rather a satellite that you never noticed before because you have never been where there is no light to blind you to the stars and to the man-made objects in the night sky. It is beautiful.

Now, project yourself back about 550 years. There is no satellite flying overhead but the sky looks the same otherwise. More stars than you have ever seen. The sky starts to brighten. It’s so subtle at first that you don’t notice it but it is getting brighter. The sun is coming up. Notice that? You said it is ‘coming up’. I mean, everyone says it that way because that is how it looks. You are standing still and the sun rises above your head. The sun is moving, isn’t it? You look off to the horizon and you can see the Earth we live on is flat and level in the desert. Nothing to get in the way of seeing all the way to the edge, is there? Imagine we used to believe the Earth was flat and the Sun rose and sat around us. We were the center of the universe. How silly we were to believe that!!

Now, think about our current situation. Regardless of your politics, I am sure you can find things you agree with and things you disagree with. Imagine a line in the sand running from right to left. Conveniently it runs Right to Left. Conservative to Liberal. Lower yourself down onto the line. You are at ground level looking Right and Left along the line and deciding where on that line you will stand. My position is just to the Right of Ron Reagan. Yours may be next to FDR or Lincoln or Obama. We all think we are in the proper place and that anyone that is to the Right or Left of us is wrong.

Now, allow yourself to float up and get to about 3000 feet above the line. Look down. This is a different place. Right and Left don’t mean as much now. Maybe we need to allow ourselves to float up even higher to get a better perspective on the truth. I don’t know all the answers and certainly I don’t know where to stand on that line but if we allow ourselves to come higher maybe it won’t matter as we see more of the picture.

That line can be Right or Left, liberal or conservative, Catholic or Protestant, White or Black, rich or poor. You get the picture I hope and maybe we’ll realize someday that the world is not flat and that we don’t live on a line in the sand. Bring others up to a higher level and show them what it looks like from up here.

Maybe it will make a difference.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry W. Robertson