Powerfact: As human beings, there is more that can bring us together than divide us if we choose to seek those things out.
By Darryl Davis, CSP
I’ve always been a fan of Aesop’s Fables, and I just finished the story of Androcles and the Lion. In case you don’t know it, or if you have forgotten, it’s the story of a slave named Androcles.
Androcles escaped and fled into the forest, and it was there he came across a lion. He did what anyone would do in that situation, he turned and ran. The lion didn’t follow him, however, and Androcles realized the lion was in pain — he had a large thorn stuck in his paw. Out of compassion, Androcles pulled the thorn out and they formed the bond of friendship.
Years later, Androcles and the lion were captured and taken to Rome’s Coliseum where they awaited their doom. The lion was starved for days, and finally they put Androcles and the lion out into the arena, but the lion refused to attack him.
The emperor was shocked, but after seeing this strange and incredible friendship, released them both.
The current climate of North America isn’t great right now. There are clear divisions among the people, but what made me decide to share this story was how through compassion and gratitude, two beings who should have been enemies became friends, and this is something we can all apply to today.
The Lions in our life are those people who are profoundly different than us. They have different beliefs, different ways of thinking, different opinions…they can be scary to interact with because there seems to be nothing you can relate to.
Differences aren’t bad. In fact, it’s our differences and our ability to interact despite them that defines our humanity. Where would we be if everyone was exactly the same? Life would be BORING!
Interacting with these people who are so profoundly different with the spirit of compassion for their troubles, and gratitude for their help prove that any differences can be bridged.
It’s when we refuse to accept these other people with all their differing opinions and thoughts and beliefs and turn to widening the gap. When someone posts an opinion on Facebook or Twitter, and a hot-headed response is posted to counter that opinion, it only serves to inflame the matter and create more divisiveness. This takes away our humanity and the hate will eventually eat away at that person and destroy them.
Going into these last two months of 2020, lets really focus on bridging the gaps between ourselves and the people around us. Maybe you have someone in your office that you struggle to get along with. Maybe it’s time we open our eyes and stop seeing what we want to see, and really seek to understand the worlds of others around us.
There is a quote I want to leave you with that will help us bridge the differences between us: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
Let’s put some love out there, folks. We all need it!
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