Who are you? Who are we? Who am I?
Three relatively simple questions that all of us can answer. You are . . .; I am Russell Kendall Carter; we are coworkers, family, friends, lovers. All very interesting relationships.
You are someone whom I met in elementary school, and we have been friends for years. I know just about everything about you.
We are coworkers; our group has been together for fifteen years. We work, bitch and moan together, retreat together. And some of us have good outside-of-work, friendly relationships. Our spouses and children also are friends. I am just a simple college professor, aiding my students in their preparations to face the real, cruel world.
It’s as simple as that. WRONG!! – Each one of these relationships is very complex, changing day by day, causing us joy, then grief, then joy . . .
We are individuals with our own unique problems, needs, and desires. We are unique in everyone’s eyes. We are complex individuals, trying to cope with the madness of the world around us. I must tend to my needs before I can even think about helping others. Me and my family are the most important things in my life.
Sound familiar? It should; I hear this every day; from my friends and family, from my ministers, from my students, and from my fellow professors.
We live in a society that insists that the only path to take is one that leads up; up to where? Making it to the top of the heap; what heap? Fame is fleeting, and lasts only minutes; fifteen minutes of fame, then an abrupt drop.
What if we take the time to share ourselves, our true selves, with others, and then we allow them to share their true selves with us. Are we then challenged to step on them on the way to the top? It is very difficult.
In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter invited the leaders of Israel and Egypt to come to Camp David to show each other pictures of their grandchildren; they did and a delicate peace was declared that lasted until these two leaders either died or were voted out of office. They recognized that they were not enemies, but proud grandfathers.
Can we do the same in our lives? Can we recognize others and people and not obstacles to defeat? We need not fear others; we need to see others as ourselves.