It’s not too difficult to be kind to everyone



Published:

We all have differences, dreams, concerns and interests. This variety presents a challenge for us every day. Recognize the beauty of diversity like a God-given mosaic (a collection of colorful stones, tiles, glass, metals and jewels) to enhance our lives.

 “We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.”

During our long lives, we have navigated the joys and pain of the moment. We learned about love, hate, friends, neighbors and enemies. We experienced it. As a boy, I heard the name calling, slurs and inhumane comments. In 1940, my father moved our family out of an ethnic German-Polish area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a suburban area called White Manor. It was a long bike ride to my grandparent’s farm.

As a “dumb kid,” I attended Pulaski High School. There were no black students there, none at the state teachers college I attended and none when I taught high school in Northern Wisconsin. Next, I spent 20 years at the University of Wisconsin. We had students of every color and ethnicity from 72 different countries. We had race riots, demonstrations for endless causes and Vietnam War protests. I dealt with Equal Rights and Women’s Rights. I marched in Washington D.C. 

When I moved to Orlando in 1984, I went to a Rotary meeting. When they saw my name badge, I was told “We don’t let Yankees sit here.”

 It was no joke. I became a member. We got along. We worked together. Now, there are Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. Local clubs joined the world clubs with a theme: “Rotary Connects the World.” Rotary with its diversity focuses on inclusion and service to all people of the world.

As seniors, we have experienced many discrimination challenges at work, at school, in the military and in our communities. We have looked for ways to include, enhance and make life better for all people. We recognize our strengths and weaknesses. Sen. Bill Nelson in his last campaign commented: “We are all in this together!”

May my daily prayer be yours: “Lord, let us heal our divisions. Bring all of God’s children together in peace and harmony in all the world.”