The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love garden gates. On my daily walk I have a few I particularly find delightful. A gate is often a latched barrier between a heavily fenced yard and the world at large. No matter what might be going on inside the yard, a pretty gate invites my attention.
My voice, my ability to speak out, is also a gate between the world and my private thoughts and actions. Before I open my gate, or speak out on a subject, I think it my responsibility to be prepared to act in accordance with my words. If I tell you I am a Christian, and I am, I feel responsible to act as Christ-like as I can. I am not a Sunday Christian. I believe in the two great commandments. Love thy God with all they heart, might, mind, and strength and love thy neighbor as thyself. So, who is my neighbor?
They are the many around me who are not religious. They are the other Christians who don't believe in my dogma. They are the Syrian family locating and going to school with my grandchildren. They are the children of color who I teach, and embrace.
It is tempting to repeat the speeches I hear on the news and on the internet. I know I live in a privileged class of white skinned people who hold most of the political power. I know this privilege is not shared by all and it hurts and shames. So, I feel the need to have a gate of speech that it not just politically correct but more importantly that the garden beyond the gate is cared for responsibly and honestly.
I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.