Thanks for the kind words, but we all come in contact with people who might listen to us and that we might listen to. Not to take anything away from Joe and Will, they are unique individuals with fantastic stories to tell as we all are, but the blessing lies in how we approach and deal with one another. Trust me, I wasn’t born with an innate ability to listen. It’s something I’ve consciously worked at and still do. I’ll be the first to say that I do not always get it right. My motivation: God’s been patient with me, so I try to extend that same patience and grace with others. (No, I’m not inferring I’m a god dealing with mortals.)

The trap is to only hear the words that are spoken and not really listening. The thing is anyone can do it, but you have to want to do it.

This post was predicated by today’s reality. I may be splitting hairs here but it sounds as if you’re saying there’s a disconnect between my intended message and the reality of today. The two are inextricably linked. Just because the ideal and reality are far apart, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to reach that ideal. I know you know that.

Please don’t think that my circle of friends is filled with Joes and Wills. That’s not the case at all. I, too, have read comments online from people I’ve known for thirty years, the type of comments that make me wonder if I knew them at all. And I’m sure to some of my friends, I’m the prickly one. But what do I do? What do they do? Do we all retreat to our own tribes and hurl epithets at one another? We’re living in the outcome of that strategy? Or do we at least try to bridge the gap and reach out to those who want to find common ground?

I post my stuff online. If people read it, good. If it resonates with them, great. If they are moved to discuss it, that’s even better. And if it’s not their cup of tea, that’s cool. Everything isn’t for everybody. Writing these essays is my attempt at changing the world, or at least my tiny corner of it. I hope that I’m being used for some divine purpose despite my foibles.

(Man, you know open those spring-loaded hatches, don’t you? Ha!)

Author, artist, accidental activist, founder Our Human Family ( Social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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