Well, it seems like the COVID-19 virus and the ensuing pandemic are all but gone, overshadowed by the issues of racism and hate in America. We are certainly living in polarizing times that circumvent unity at every turn and stoke the fire of divisiveness anew daily. Are we now living in our post-pandemic days?
What are people talking about around your office water cooler? Do you still have an office water cooler after the pandemic swept in and radically changed how we approach simple things, like salt and pepper on the dinner table at your favorite restaurant?
The roots of racism run deep. But, God’s grace and mercy out bench any burden we carry as individuals and as a society. Recognizing where we’ve been doesn’t mean we need to stay there. We can move forward. As I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts, a great deal of progress has been made since I was an immigrant kid growing up in East Texas. That doesn’t mean there’s not still work to do. There is.
Did You Know?
“Olly Olly oxen free” is a catchphrase used in children’s games such as hide and seek, capture the flag, and kick the can to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game
The craziest thing I heard this past week took fuel and flight. On a recent evening newscast, I heard a guy crying out about defunding the police and returning to community policing. I thought, “Surely, he must be joking.” Turns out, he wasn’t. AND he actually has support in different communities around the country. Before the newscast, I had never heard anyone vocalize the idea of defunding police departments to reduce crime and violence in communities. It seems antithetical, doesn’t it? Fewer cops usually equate to more crime and violence, not less. Community policing, from my perspective, leads to more acts of racism, not less. So, being confused by major cities actually taking steps to bring into reality an idea completely foreign and new to me, there must be more to the story. So, I decided to do a little digging.
I learned that the police abolition movement is a political movement in America advocating replacing existing police forces with other systems of public safety. The movement isn’t new. It actually started a few years ago. You can read more about it in the following article:
While I’m still striving to understand before seeking to be understood, I must admit, I’m struggling to see how this works in our society. I’m under no illusion that crime will ever go away. We are, as the Good Book says, born with a propensity to sin. We tend to be violent by nature and peaceful by choice. At least, that’s what my experience has taught me.
While the heinous crime committed against George Floyd is not and can never be acceptable anywhere, anytime, abolishing the police seems to go a little too far in the other direction. Think about it? Do you really want to leave law and order in the hands of neighborhood vigilantes hunting down individuals they suspect might be up to no good?
As far beyond the scope of sanity that some of the discussions seem to be to me, personally, I am glad we’re having an honest conversation about how to move past our own individual biases and prejudices. We all have them, regardless of the color of our skin or our ethnic background. We all need to face them and deal with them so that twenty years from now, we’re not forced to repeat this same tired old conversation about racism in America.
The writers of the Declaration of Independence said it best:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
When you and I turn to the Good Book, we find that God agrees:
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27, NIV).
Scripture also teaches us that we are to treat others like we want to be treated and that we are to love one another.
These are good principles to live by that will transform our society if we will just exercise them in our daily lives. How different would the world be if we each viewed and loved others in the same way that God loves and views you and me? Now, that’s a radical idea that I can get behind.
That’s it for this edition of Wednesday’s Around the Water Cooler.
May you and those you love live in love and in peace.
The Devotional Guy™