When you see your brother, you see God.

St. Clement of Alexandria, in Stromateis, 150

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We must restore brotherhood, put an end to division.

There are those among us who exploit division for political gain.  The consequences are utterly destructive.  Black and White are divided.  Women and men divided.  The churched and the un-churched are divided.  The young and the old are divided.  Hispanics and Anglos are divided.  Workers and owners are divided.

Economic classes replace human beings and we are once more divided – chopped up into small morsels for others to benefit electorally, so they might gain “power” and think of themselves as “important” and become “privileged.”

Honestly, you know that this is precisely what has happened to us.  We have been “tooled-around” by those who exploit division, a division which tears down community, neighborhoods, the Republic.

Enough!  

I traveled from the Midwest to the East these past two days, a 650 mile drive.  I stayed at a roadside motel after the first half-day of driving under clear blues skies with little traffic across a long portion of the flat, fruitful, beautiful, tranquil farmland in Indiana and Ohio.

After a good night’s sleep, I ate a light breakfast, tidied my room and moved my luggage to my car.  In doing so I passed a heavy-set Black man about ten years younger than me.  He was standing outside the main entrance to the motel under another placid blue sky.  To his side was a shiny motorcycle.  We made eye contact.

“Good morning,” I said.  He returned the greeting.  I paused to stand with him.

“Nice day, huh,” I offered.  “Ya, beautiful,” he replied.  Going on he said, “Mine is in the shop, but I’ll pick it up in an hour or so and then we continue our holiday ride.”

“Great.  What a day for it,” I said.

We chatted for a few more minutes, as neighbors might when meeting on the street or over a common fence.

I loaded the car and walked back inside to return my room key and pick up my bill.

As I exited for the final time, my neighbor was still standing there.  I paused at his side and said to him, “That conversation was so nice, and just a great way to start the day.”  He agreed.

Then I said, “Our conversation reminded me of something that has been on my mind and increasingly so with each passing week.  May I share that with you?” “Yes,” he said eagerly.

“You know,” I began, “we are more divided than ever and it makes me sick. There is no need for people to be at war with one another.  Last time I checked we were all born the same way and are God’s children.  We have to do better, a lot better.”

“Boy, do I agree,” he said, “it didn’t used to be like this.”

I added, “And it doesn’t have to be.”  He smiled an agreement.

“God bless,” I said as I turned slightly to walk to my car.  “And God bless, you,” he said – as I returned the smile.

Until we become really, in actual fact, brother to every one, brotherhood will not come to pass.

Feodor Dostoevsky, in The Brothers Karamazov

Shalom.

It begins with you being a friend, a neighbor, a brother or sister to others.  Thank you for sharing this with others.

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