Our differences make us unique and strong

Published 5:39 am Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Several geese trumpet their agitation as I spy from my back yard swing. Two groups meander around the bank across the lake. One crowd stands serenely watching another goose with straight neck angrily charging one of her peers. Soon others join in the ruckus, and I observe a veritable goose war.

Before long a neighborhood dog just can’t stand it any longer, and his howls join in the fray. After a long few minutes, the fowl and angry dog calm down. A few geese, tired of all the drama, return to their normal activities. The glassy water entices them to swim and fish for lunch.
The restless ones continue to honk, but eventually peace reigns. A hearty wind moves my swing back and forth as beautiful, melodious chimes ring out from my back porch. A smile and sigh escape me as I remember the lovely Christmas gift from Mike and wish he were not so far away. What utter joy it is to live in the Deep South where short sleeve days provide a reprieve from winter’s chill!

Leaves rustle as their muted hues of orange and yellow lay strewn across the brittle grass. A pair of geese glide gracefully along distancing themselves from the others. Young lovers, perhaps, desiring a few stolen moments from the peering eyes of the crowd?

Soon the agitators noisily continue their unfinished argument once more. They honk and honk as if determined to say, “Listen! I’m not happy so you shouldn’t be either!” The others ignore the distraction and go about their day. I count 30 peaceful geese, and two or three noisy ones.

Could a lesson be taken from nature? The distress many have felt surrounding our presidential election has affected us all. Maybe if we just let people have their say and go about our business without feeling compelled to comment peace would reign a lot faster.

In our communities and families, we cannot force people to agree with us, but we can graciously let them express themselves without putting them down for having a different opinion. In some instances maybe we could bite our tongue. Since one of my best friends is of a different political persuasion I have done that quite a few times, and it hasn’t hurt me a bit. In my family we call that having good manners. Aretha Franklin called it having respect. Whatever we call it, I think we could use a little more of it in America right now.

We have always and will always continue to have differences of opinion, but we are not the divided states of America. Plenty of men and women fought and died for this country and our rights to disagree. Our differences make us unique and strong, but don’t have to divide us. In honor of the sacrifice of those brave Americans who shed precious blood for our great land I pray that our wounds be healed, and we come together as Americans once more.