The world is divided into people who think they are right.
It took me a few seconds to understand that there was no more to this sentence. Each side of the divide claims the higher ground of being right, being righteous, being morally superior, being more ethical, being smarter, being better.
Nowhere was this more evident to me than in the case of two business owners, each of whom denied service to a customer based on their own sense of morality. The customers in both cases were denied service because of who they were, not because they were engaged in any behavior disruptive to the businesses in question.
I’m not here to debate the legalities, the politics, or any other aspect of the owners’ decisions. What caught my attention was the reactions to the decisions. One group of people condemned the first owner and praised the second. Another group of people praised the first and condemned the second.
Neither group seemed to see any contradiction in their own opposite reactions to basically the same scenario. And of course each group saw their reactions as the “right” ones.
But how can any of this be right? How can any of this lead to anything other than more division, more distrust, more judgment, more hatred, more insistence, more fighting, more of everything that brings us down as human beings?
Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy, please pour your nectar of compassion over all of us, over both business owners, over both customers, over all who have furthered the divide, and over all who seek to bridge it. Help us love with the love that we profess to believe in, help us open our hearts to receive the grace we long for, help us reach through our fear to find a hand on the other side. May we shine like the sun and nourish like the rain.
For the sun rises on the evil and the good, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust. ~Matthew 5:45