I am blessed, if you will allow a non-believer to say that, I truly am. I am blessed with an amazing family (we fight, but what family doesn’t?) I am blessed with mostly good health (when I can get into the doctor they are always amazed at how healthy my heart is, so am I.) Finally, I am blessed with a large, generous and maybe most importantly, diverse circle of friends.
I owe that to my folks. They never closed themselves off to others because of race, religion or class and as a result neither do my siblings or I. We would have professors, managers, working joes, welfare moms, musicians and all sorts of characters in our house. Mom worked most of my teen years in bowling alleys (they prefer “bowling centers” now. Long live new speak!!) That also contributed. Bowling attracts people from all walks of life. It is just active enough but not so difficult that it excludes anyone.
All this has allowed for a much richer life experience than others allow themselves. So many folks close out anyone not from their little corner of the human endeavor. They fear the different because the familiar is so very comfortable and that is too bad, because moving outside your comfort zone, terrifying though it might be, can also be so very beautiful.
So invite that black woman in your office pool the one you’ve never talked to except in passing, to your next picnic. Go get coffee with that Evangelical Christian who gets his hair cut the same place you do. Finally, go bowling. Because even if you do not get to partake of their experiences to add them to your own, for a few hours on a Wednesday night, you can be reminded that despite all your differences, you are all just human beings, rolling strikes and gutter balls through the not always well oiled lanes of life.