Sunday, April 9, 2017

Venn Diagram

I’m exhausted by rights and wrongs. We spend our lives drawing circles around groups of people; them, us; left, right; Democrat, Republican; rich, poor; black, white; gay, straight; Christian, Muslim. It goes on and on and on until we are trapped inside our bubbles of separateness, staring out at each other through gauzy dividers of our own making, pointing fingers, fearful, blaming. I see the bumper stickers everywhere, with different names after each election, but always the same message, “Don’t blame me, I voted for ____.” Fill in the blank. Fill in the blank with who is to blame, because surely we must have someone to blame. Surely I must be right and someone else wrong. Surely it must be the fault of someone outside of my bubble. So I sit self-righteously inside my circle with those who are like me, looking out.

The problem is that life isn’t as simple as that. People don’t, and shouldn’t, fit so neatly into little circles of sameness. Life is more of a venn diagram. Our circles overlap, our interests overlap,  and those places where they meet and blend, create new spaces and new colors. Those are the spaces of our common ground – safety, peace, security, food, shelter, joy, love. It is in the spaces where we overlap where we must meet and dwell. Those are the spaces where we can talk about the future we all want for the children, and for generations to come. Our need to be able to put food on the table. The desire to have a safe, comfortable place to live and rest. The safety and freedom to worship or not worship, as we feel called to.

Life is a venn diagram. Look for and seek out the places where we overlap, and gather there, find yourselves in each other there. Because in the end, despite what the bumper stickers say, blaME ends with ME.