Happy New Year! Now, before all of confetti is accounted for and removed, before the balloons begin to deflate, returning to their natural state, before you and I lose the momentum of the moment and the newness of this year rubs off, I want to ask you to do something. I know that it will not make the top ten for most resolution lists. Diets and dating are likely competitors. They will fight to the death. Still, while we are aiming to make ourselves new, I thought we could try something new, try to talk to someone new, someone different from ourselves in ways that don’t matter and for which God “pays no mind.” These differences were God’s idea, you know.
I want you to resolve to form new community in places and with people you would not otherwise. This will require not a series of steps but a calculated intention and authentic conviction to break race’s form and segregation’s tradition, to introduce yourself to others, invite persons to share space and time with you and invent new ways of being with persons of different cultures, experiences and languages. You may not lose weight or find the person of your dreams but you will have gained something much fuller and deeper.
“If we wait for some people to become agreeable or attractive before we begin to love them, we will never begin. If we are content to give them a cold, impersonal ‘charity’ that is merely a matter of obligation, we will not trouble to try to understand them or to sympathize with them at all. And in that case, we will not really love them, because love implies an efficacious will not only to do good to others exteriorly but also to find some good in them to which we can respond.”