“There are two types of people in this world…..givers and takers.” Does this sound familiar? I have a tendency to divide people into categories. Participating in my church’s mission outreach for a few days has had a very lasting effect on my perspective.
I worked one morning in the kitchen at Cherry Street. We had a humorous near accident with a shopping cart. A group of guys shared wisecracks and one-liners that had us chuckling together the entire time. It wasn’t a deep discussion; but there was a sense of comradery.
In another case, I passed time talking to a woman at Sparrow’s Nest. The discussion moved easily between topics. We spoke a little of our past and things we wish we’d have done differently. We talked about how proud we were of our children. We shared some plans we were making. I came away much closer to someone with whom I would have thought I had nothing in common.
In these situations, where I expected our differences to keep us apart, it was our similarities that drew us together. They reminded me that, at our core, we’re created very much the same. This connection should be treasured. It’s a gift that lets us laugh with someone though we disagree. It encourages us to help and to support those in need. It keeps differences from becoming divisions.