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Loving One Another
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By Cheryl A. Steeper

There have been various articles written of late, on multiculturalism "how two's" so to speak for problem solving, and embracing those different from us. Most of what is written is sound intellectual advice but, until we can honestly look at our own shortcomings, and admit to ourselves that we all play a part in the rising or falling of our nation, we cannot move forward to embrace the inevitable - namely a globalized world.

I like to think of myself as non-racist and open minded, although in all honesty, I have not always been that way. There have indeed been times when I have chosen to ignore my feelings of right vs. wrong. As I speak to you throughout this text, know that I use my belief in the God of the Old and New Testament as my reference point.

Back up now if you will, to my feelings of right vs. wrong. As I see it, there is an important key here, and that is to recognize and acknowledge those feelings. Do not let the negative ones gain a foothold in your heart and soul. It is a known fact that unsettling thoughts and actions are born out of fear, and lack of trust. Mentally ask yourself, what am I afraid of, and why can I not trust this situation? Choose how to effectively convey them now, or note what you have learned from this experience.

Always strive to do what would be pleasing in the eyes of God. Never lose sight of your faith - it is what will sustain you in your fear and doubt. As human beings, we weren't meant to be perfect. Don't spend your life searching for perfection, as you will never find it, only spend precious time and energy on things that don't really matter. Taking that road will only destroy your soul, and hold you back from all that you were meant to be.

This is our land, although not exclusively. No one gave us "squatters rights". There is enough for all. God will provide. I urge individuals to consider which feels better, to lift one up in a positive way, or let one down? Violent thoughts and actions only beget violent thoughts and actions. Kind, considerate thoughts beget the same. Be gentle, be loving, and know that many immigrants have been persecuted, therefore lack trust. They may not always be open to kindness.

Be kind anyway. A mere smile can speak volumes. Keep the momentum active-do not judge others lest you yourself be judged. We are all equal in the site of God, and by reaching out to those that are different from us we are honoring Him, as well as our multicultural neighbors. It is within this understanding, that we will find the acceptance of them as God intended.

This is not to say that change will happen overnight, and if we do all the things mentioned our world will be the perfect place in which to live. But, if we become aware of our thoughts and realize that others pick up on our silent clues, we are taking steps however small, towards recognizing our contribution to the world. God’s greatest commandment is to love one another.

Let us all make a conscious effort in that direction.