It is the right thing to do and emotionally uplifting in senior years, (anyone over fifty) to open our hearts, expand our minds, and not allow prejudices, taboos, and negative traditions to hold us captive.
Blacks who have never trusted or socially intermingled with persons of other races have missed a chance to confirm God’s humanity of the human race. The home of whites that has never had a person of color, particularly Blacks, as social guests has missed an opportunity to grow. The man who refuses to work with a woman as an equal, or beneath a woman as a supervisor, and/or refuses to worship in a church where a female is pastor, has deprived himself of the other half of the world. Many seniors ostensibly spiritual, kind, and sensible have never served food in a charitable mission, or given a sandwich, from hand-tohand, to a homeless person because they feel so removed from that lowly environment, which put makes them a snob in their final years of life.
Among us in our communities, families, and churches are seniors that have subtle taboos that prevent them from being a whole well rounded wise person, and worse, they often pass their negative traits on to younger family and community members.
We not only should take time to smell the roses but take the time to listen with interest to what a child has to say. Seniorhood is the last cycle of life that people have the opportunity to widen their horizon. Being set in antiquated ways is not worthy of social inheritance or a noteworthy epitaph. When it comes to intimate relationships, many choose to sit alone at home rather than break the old taboo of becoming romantically involved and/or traveling with a person of interest because he/she is of another race or culture. Life is too short to cling to prejudice taboos, which obstruct the basic tenets of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
When someone comes into our life or crosses our path that is different than we are, God wants us to imagine it an opportunity to add to our awareness of the world, to show us another way to think and be and live beyond our own small way of thinking. Change and openness are the doors through which insight journeys and deeper thought begins. It is the judgment or test, from which we learn that the world is much bigger, much broader than ourselves, that there is truth out there that is different from our own. The voice of God we hear is not the only voice of God. Change and becoming “open” is the liberal abandonment of the mind to new ideas, to new possibilities.
Without an essential posture of openness, contemplation is not possible. God comes in every voice, behind every face, in every memory, deep in every struggle. To close off any of them is to close off the possibility of becoming new again ourselves and render us obsolete and expendable.
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