The View From Above

While flying home on our last trip, I glanced out the window high above the clouds. I have been on many flights over my lifetime and enjoyed that majestic view from above. But for some reason this day it had me thinking. 

My thoughts went to all the many people below. The millions that we would fly over across the country. All much different from each other. 

People of many colors, who have grown up in very different families, who study or don't study a particular religion, who have been raised with different value systems, who have or have not been exposed to each others cultures, and who all face much different hardships. 

It is quite the tapestry and beyond complicated. We cannot pretend that we understand every one's struggles, opinions, and value sets. It is not possible. We can only hope to embrace our differences and respect that we are all living much different lives. Respect being the most important piece. 

Listening is a huge gateway to understanding. I know I am trying to do more of it during these times. Which can be difficult given all the noise surrounding our country's current divide. The world has painted us all in black and white (or good vs evil) and we know we are better than that. It is the gray that we all must lie in. The area in which we all have our own opinions and while some may be red and some may be blue, they are formed from our values, exposure, and beliefs. 

Those of different opinion are not your enemy. Those of different opinion probably have a story to tell you know nothing about. Those of different opinion may have open ears to your opinions. And wouldn't it be wonderful to hear all of those stories and opinions straight from the mouths of the millions of people below me that day? I would definitely be listening. 


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