I felt a little creative tonight - as I sat here unable to sleep...once again. So I made this little graphic up. I ran into the quote by Saint Augustine and somehow it stuck with me.
As I wrapped my brain around the quote I started thinking about how the more we expose ourselves to different people & cultures the more we open our eyes, hearts and minds to the bigger picture. Many times we form our opinions on what we know, which is basically what was right and wrong in our family growing up. Many times we don't even have a good understanding behind why we were told something was the way to do it.
Let's visit an example: As a child you were told to always carry the gravy boat with one hand on the handle and one underneath the base. The reason you were taught this was because the family heirloom china boat had a hairline fracture in the handle so your Mom didn't want too much pressure put on it in case it would break. This was never explained to you though - so in your mind the "RIGHT" way to carry a gravy boat at all times is to have one hand under the base and one on the handle.
This may seem like a silly, very simplistic example. It's true - it is. The point is we carry this into all kinds of areas in our lives. Our family, friends, community, media and our culture form our opinions in ALL kinds of areas. Half the time I don't think we even realize we have an opinion, it just comes so naturally. And - it can come across so stinking judgmental while being based on something irrelevant to the situation.
I think the more we learn about others & the why behind the choices - The more we get to know the hearts of people who are different than us - The more grace we have for others differences.
Sometimes as adults... growing can be painful - but sometimes it can be REALLY fun. I have LOVED having my eyes opened wide to new ways of doing life. I realize not all can travel to far away lands - but I think we all know in today's world there is A LOT of different cultures within a pretty close proximity of us.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. -1 John 4:7-8