Liquid Sunshine

Liquid Sunshine.jpg

A washout! That is what this Saturday in Jasper, Alberta is. A complete and total washout! People tell us that it will stop raining after lunch. My only comment is “SO WHAT!” We are in the final days of our 24-day 50th anniversary vacation in Alaska, on a cruise, and touring the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer, with only two days of rain during this entire trip. What a blessing God has given us on this trip.

I have met and talked with people from England, Canada, Japan, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Scotland, Ireland, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, and the United States.

All of us are enjoying our various holidays in Canada and Alaska. I have exchanged emails with several people, making friends from many of these countries.

The people who are tending to all our needs are also from many areas of the world: Indonesia, Serbia, Australia, and New Zealand, and, of course, Canada. Many are students on summer jobs. The others began as students, finished their studies, and stayed to glory in the beauty of Canada and Alaska.

Friends . . . We are truly all the same; we have the same desires, the same ailments, the same needs, and if given the chance, the same desire to meet and greet each other as equals. For all our differences, we are knit together in one body of humanity.  We are made one people; a unity of diversity; diversity within unity.

What does all this have to do with liquid sunshine? It has given me the chance to reflect. As my wife and I were having breakfast in the Orso restaurant in the Fairmont Lodge in Jasper, I was watching the rain increase out our window viewing the lake. Second to watching waves exploding ashore in Virginia Beach, watching the rain ripple the glassy surface of a river-fed lake is a time for being very pensive.

And, since I am a people watcher wherever I go, my thoughts fell to how alike we all are, and how different we are.

Unfortunately, we always seem to emphasize our differences, not our similarities. Pity us. Is this really the way the world should work? Notice I used the verb should, not the verb is.

I am a news hound. I love listening to the good news; I love listening to the no-so-good news. I also love listening to the constant bickering of our political leaders as they parse their words to let us know absolutely nothing about what they are doing for . . . themselves!

But, through this all, I refuse to look at the people I hear about on the news as the other. I look at them as us. We all have relatives whom we love; we have relatives that are hard to get along with; we have relatives who are, well, a little different. We can fill in our own meanings for a little different. We may not profess our love for these relatives, but we certainly do not wish them harm, or undo hardships. Then why do we not accept these same people who are not our family relatives? Then why do we treat them as the other, when in fact, they are us?

It has taken me some time to mature to this level of acceptance, a fact that I am not overly proud of. But, since I have altered my thinking, I am less tense, without headaches, and, by all means, happier. And, my friends have noticed, asking if I have changed something in my life.

I say “Yes, I have.”

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