We live in a world of extremes: extreme TV, extreme wars, extreme images, extreme thoughts, feelings, and more. As I examine my inner thoughts and feelings, I find myself sometimes in a maze of extremes — extreme judgments, extreme opinions, extreme overreactions and more.
I worry about this crazy world in which we live and the part I may play in its increasing state of madness. I know that we all are playing a part in our own demise. Every time I make a statement in the extreme, I am tearing away at our universe. Just one extreme word can remove a small grain, then, a stone, then a mountain, then before we know it — all creation is gone. Sound extreme? Yeah!! But think about it…..
It is extreme to think in terms of us and them, of your religion vs. mine, of black vs. white of rich vs. poor, or my right vs. your wrong. Why is there not room for much diversity in thought, in image, in worship, in personal approaches to living?
I plead guilty to being an extremist sometimes, though outwardly appearing open-minded and receptive to differences of opinion. I’ve comfortably used the word “HATE” and have felt extreme opposition to other’s views, even when I didn’t speak it aloud. It is in our personal spaces of hate, separateness, superiority, patriotism, and religious fervor that the danger lays. We only see it when looking at someone else, not at ourselves.
In building these very tall walls of separatism, with extreme coverings of single-minded judgments and opinions, we have created a world of fear, isolation, and dehumanization. This is truly no way to really LIVE.
Today the world is on heightened military alert because of those among us who have taken a single thought, lacking real judgment, and built a fortress of extreme hate. That level of extreme thinking has meant the loss of life for those merely expressing their own personal opinions. Just when does your opinion become so much more important that it gives you license to control, alter, or even take my life?!
Life is more than extremes at either one end or the other. There really is an ‘In-Between’. That in-between is called by many names that we need to add to our vocabulary and our way of living every day. That requires a daily dose of RESPECT, UNDERSTANDING, COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION and finally the core of what I believe lies buried in every soul — LOVE — for each other and for ourselves.
I pledge this day to begin with me, and take my first dose today by sending you this message. I pray that we all do the same, one day at a time.