As humans, we have this desire to be a part of something–whether it's a family, a church, a sports club, a non-profit organization, or a political party. Our desire to belong is written all over our clothes, bumper stickers, social media posts, and most prominently in our behaviors, decisions, and relationships.
We all have a longing to be part of a community, to contribute, to feel love, and give love in return. And naturally, we want to share these experiences with like-minded people!
It's easy to love and connect with someone who has the same interests and beliefs as we do. Because when we can see ourselves in the other, we can avoid confrontations that might conflict with our values. Ultimately, that’s not a bad thing. It’s really it's quite natural. We will always gravitate towards people we can relate to, I hope!
I recently experienced this on a new level when I bought a Jeep Wrangler. I had always heard the saying "It's a Jeep thing" but never really understood what that meant, even though I had previously owned other Jeep models. But on my first day behind my new wheels, I immediately understood. Other Wrangler drivers began waving and throwing up peace signs on the busy streets as they passed by me.
"HOW CUTE???" I thought! I felt such a sense of community from these people, even though I didn’t know them. The feeling was in such contrast to my everyday experience on the bustling city streets normally filled with loud honking, impatient drivers, and bumper-to-bumper frustration.
It made me think of community and UNITY in a new realm.
So now, I challenge myself and you to connect to someone who doesn't fit your mold.
Can you still feel that community and love for someone with whom you have nothing in common?
Can you identify yourself and others as one human race, God's children rather than different sects, races, political backgrounds, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, favorite sports team, economic brackets, etc.?
Can you stop thinking about how you’re different and instead find a way to love all humans?
Can you give someone a friendly Jeep wave to make them feel loved and appreciated even though you may share nothing in common?
I think we can all agree that what this world needs more of is LOVE, and maybe that love can be so easily expressed in just a wave or peace sign exchanged between so-called strangers on a busy city street.