I recently attended the Fort Worth Rodeo with neighbors Harold and Gale Green, along with their extended family. The excursion was fun-filled with great Mexican food, lively conversation, unlimited beer and wine, historic sight-seeing, and bull riding that kept us on the edge of our seats.
What struck me most about the weekend was I could have easily been with my own crazy family. Not that the Greens are crazy…
The entire weekend was similar to one of our family trips to the horse races in Hot Springs or a summer lake vacation—identical debates, laughter and joking and ribbing one another, same food, same music. Different people.
Families are so much alike.
People are alike.
We all look different with varying backgrounds and upbringings and beliefs, yet within the walls of our homes, we have indistinguishable conversations and concerns. We worry about our children and our jobs. We fret over the economy and whether or not the government will steal our freedoms. We worry about the weather and aging parents and cousins in jail. We worry about being too fat or breaking our New Year’s resolutions by February 1. We worry about getting old and dying.
We are the sum of our feelings, our surroundings, the sum of our parts.
Why with all these similarities, do we so often call attention to our differences?
We say we want to be equal and treated the same, yet we form groups and promote anything we find dissimilar.
Boy scouts don’t allow gays. And now boy scouts may consider allowing gays. Why is this even a topic for discussion? Why can’t Boy Scouts be for boys?
February is Black History Month. Isn’t Black history fundamental to American history? Why should Black history be reserved for only one month? Why can’t we get past our skin color and celebrate American history month?
It makes sense that people hang out and gravitate to sameness. Sameness is comfortable. Must we label our sameness and use it as a basis for exclusion?
When we stand on the basis of race or sex or whatever, aren’t we simply perpetuating the problem? Shouldn’t we just stop talking about it?
We may be different on the outside but deep down inside where we live, we are so much alike. Yes, even all those people at the rodeo…