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Different People

To deny myself the knowledge even of a single person is to lose the central piece of my life pattern.

Wow! There are plenty of people I'm not sure I want to know. Some are so contrary to my views and values that I'm afraid they'll distract me from what's important. It certainly requires courage and confidence in my strength.

But making that knowledge the central piece of my life pattern makes me pause. What is that central piece? That's something we each choose. For me, it's being open to a power greater than me. That higher power is revealed through the people and events in life, and so, knowing the people around me is honoring and knowing that power.

The challenge is staying open to the truth that others express, especially when it's a truth I don't particularly want to hear. Or that truth is expressed in a way that stirs strong feelings I may not want or like. No one knows everything. We all hold a piece of the truth, and the more that we put those pieces together, the more complete we become.

When I've taken a deep breath, not taken the anger or negative energy of people personally, and focused on the truth of what they're saying, I often find someone struggling with issues similar to mine. Sometimes, all we hold in common is the struggle with life issues. Those issues challenge us to stretch and grow. Like the day a group member told me the reason I couldn't admit that I made mistakes was because I was a jerk. "But that's okay, Bob; we're all jerks," she added.

At a store where I still work, a strange looking man walked in one day, and I gasped. Max wore a cowboy hat and boots, rumpled jeans, a leather jacket with fringe on the sleeves, plus long hair and a scraggly beard. OMG! But I took a breath and asked how I could help. What followed was the first in a series of conversations over the years with a thoughtful, intelligent person. Oh, and he spent a great deal of money, too!

Being open to the knowledge of different people assumes that each of us sees part of the larger life picture. It requires the humility that knows I don’t have it all; the strength that I don't need to have it all; and the faith that being open to other people helps me, and them, arrive at a better place.