I have been enjoying communicating with old friends on FB. People I have not seen in over forty years. Our lives have taken different paths for sure, but there is a thread of remembrance of our youth that binds us.
Perhaps it is our common beginnings, perhaps it is our age, but it seems we are working towards holding a line of respect amidst our differences. When I write to them, I am thinking of youthful laughter and play, shared dreams and friends too soon gone. I am acknowledging choices that we have all made, some away from the ways we were expected to be, others in lockstep. Most of all, I am trying to hold onto recognition of their humanity and to listen to them – while not losing my own.
We are walking together down the road of communication which often has slippery slopes. And they are teaching me. I do not have to fear ideas. I do not have to fear conviction. The only thing I have to fear is my own silence when words are needed. It is far too easy to put labels on people and ignore their humanity. It is yet another thing to allow elbow room for people to learn, feel and direct their own course. And it is yet again another thing to, with kindness and with clarity, maintain a boundary that leads to reconciliation.
We owe this to ourselves and to our children, to love deeply and to find a way towards peace.
Today with great certainty I wrote: We are only one step away from making a bit of heaven here on earth – and it is called kindness and it has a form called respect.
May it be. Make it be.
The picture is from my current home in Wisconsin, much like the hills of Pennsylvania where I grew up. It has become a gathering place for people of peace. I love that it reminds me of my first home. Photo taken by Kasia Siemaszko.