Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Source of Our Perspective

Years ago, I worked in a group home with emotionally disturbed children. One of the children I worked with, whom I will call Justin, was at the home because of run ins he had already had with the law at the tender age of eight. He and a gang of six-year-olds had gone around the neighborhood stealing bikes. It was a natural occurence for someone growing up poor and coming from a family where everyone else also had problems with the law.

One morning as the children were getting ready for school, I knocked on Justin's door to let him know he was not going to school right away because he was to have a meeting with his probation officer. At my announcement, the eyes of Justin's roommate, who was a year older and bigger than Justin, widened in surprise and he said, "You have a probation officer?!!!" (Most of the children there just had social workers.) Justin looked at the roommate, and in a very innocent sort of way said, "Sure. Doesn't everybody?" I had to stifle back a laugh, because Justin truly wasn't aware that most people don't have probation officers. Where he came from, everybody did.

My purpose in sharing this story is not just to amuse but to point out how the society we grow up in shapes our view of the world. We may have grown up in a society that fears and hates people from different races or cultures. We may have grown up in a society that tells us being gay is a sin and will land you in hell if you don't "reform". The problem with these societal beliefs is that they are often based on false truths and lead to separation.

We are not here to perpetuate separateness. We are here to learn how to love unconditionally. We are called to bridge the gap that separates us from our fellow human beings! Often, it is those lessons society teaches us that cause the divisions. Conflict is the result of a tainted point of view and not a reflection of truth. When in the middle of conflict, it is important to assess the situation from a more objective point of view. Learn to question yourself. Why do I believe this is wrong? Because the Bible says it's wrong and the Bible is an infallible source of truth? (Maybe this has more to do with your preacher's or family's intrepretation of the Bible.) Because this is the law, and I always follow the law? Whatever your reason, if you follow it back to its source you will discover your perspective is highly influenced by your life lessons. Your perspective may not be influenced by truth at all.

The fact of the matter is, we all have access to the truth. It lies within. There is a part of our soul that is directly connected to the Universe and all things in it. Even Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21 KJV) Time to see the source of our perspective for what it is--our life lessons. Once we understand this, we can let go of our learned perspective and embrace the truth. We become a source of wholeness and healing for the world.

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