A Different World

I had a remarkable conversation with a relatively new friend the other day. Her enthusiasm, desire to be of service to her fellows in every sphere of her living and boundless gratitude for the privilege of ongoing growth and development personally, professionally and spiritually were absolutely infectious.

What stood out to me more than her attitude, though, was the fact that she brought this approach and perspective straight through a latticework of what most would consider disadvantages. She was born behind the proverbial 8 ball. Though she was born into the land wherein all are recognized to have the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the odds were stacked squarely against her.

While I won’t reveal the details of our conversation or the nature of her unique characteristics that most would call disadvantages, I must say that what she brought to the table of our discussion about the problems of life was possibly some of the finest, wisest and most nourishing food for thought I’ve ever been privileged to savor.

I’d be happy to introduce you to her if you’d like, but you’ve probably already bumped into her along the way.

She is the heavy-set girl sitting alone in the cafe. She’s the smart girl in braces sitting quietly in the corner at the school dance. She’s the woman you avoided in the airport because of her hijab headscarf. She’s the nun who was shunned by religious leaders because of her visions. She, my dear readers, is everywhere.

Why not look beyond your prejudice and take a few moments to discuss with her the problems of life? I’ve learned over the years to never judge a book by its cover. In fact, the most valuable lesson I’ve ever learned is how foolhardy and intoxicating judgment can be.

If you dare to rise above judgment – of others and of yourself – I will show you a different world.

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7 Responses to A Different World

  1. Coco says:

    I loved this post. Prejudice enfeebles but the most severely constricted is the one who delivers it. As a life strategy it compounds ignorance and creates caricatures again of the oppressor. I also think this is an attitude that is modeled to children through adults. I’ve found most children left to draw their own conclusions about others will constrain towards acceptance and curiosity.

  2. Teryl Worster says:

    This indeed Gregg is truth! The blessing of living free of prejudice and judgement will allow for a world filled with joy and wonder! I have met this woman, many times in my life, and have always been lifted up just knowing her. Thanks!!

  3. MMc says:

    Great post. Happy Father’s Day!! Your children are fortunate to have you and learn this while their hearts are unencumbered. Prejudice and judgement callous us. I think this was one of the reasons it was suggested we come as little children.

  4. Carmen says:

    I have come to realize in my life that these pearls of humanity are everywhere, but they are not the powerful, the rich, those who our world would chose to place laurels upon. But as you said, the ones we often give no notice or importance to. We never stop to know them, and all of the beauty and wisdom that they might hold within their gentle ways, within the humility that often surrounds their hearts. From such as these much could be learned, but sadly rarely is, because we give ourselves not the opportunity to do so. One never knows the brilliance of the spirit that dwells within the body, nor it’s true path, nor it’s destination.

  5. Isabelle says:

    We rob ourselves and others of the joy of getting to know another person because of these prejudices and judgements. Humility and graciousness are key in our interactions with others. I’ve found when these are utmost in my heart, it opens the door to something more amazing than I could ever have imagined.

  6. Steve Ventola says:

    Thanks for your words. They do open a door ready and willing to be opened.

  7. Colin says:

    Life is very limited for those that live it pre-judging what they think is going to happen based on previous assumptions. Everybody is different, and just because they are not necessarily just like me does not mean that their life is not valuable and worthwhile. It is amazing when you see someone who habitually assumed they knew about people see that there might be a deeper level then they imagined. It is like the whole world opens up before their eyes…

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