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Friday, August 22, 2014

Wellsprings of Unity

For over seven hundred years, racial hostility existed between Samaritans and Jews. But a thousand years before that, Jacob, a common ancestor, had dug a well from which they both drank. If we go back far enough in history, we find sources of common heritage. (Eugene Peterson in A Year with Jesus, page 248).

...we react quite differently to aspirations, which are very difficult to argue with.  Each of us is wired to champion others' deeply felt aspirations. Consider, for example, how frequently you have automatically rooted for total strangers you've read about or watched in a movie who are passionately pursuing an aspiration. There is a whole lot of common ground at the aspiration level. (Shirzad Chamine in Positive Intelligence, page 172).

Empathy and compassion in the end are what diverse humanity depends upon for mutual survival.  It is, after all, that which makes us feel really good about ourselves--the cheering on of our fellow humans in their striving to fulfill aspirations rooted in the soul of man.  Dig deep enough beneath strife and conflict and you will find an aquifer of common aspirations that unite us in empathy and understanding.... so long as we avoid the declensions of selfishness and fear--depressive byproducts of competition convoluted upon itself in coils of perversion.

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