Moving the Magnet

What can I say that hasn’t been said? What can I do that hasn’t been done? These are two questions that have run through my mind as I’ve realized a lighthearted blog just wasn’t going to cut it after the bombardment of news from this past week.

As I begin to write, another question arises. How can I write without creating misunderstanding that only adds to the problem? Wrestling with this one, I know that silence is the coward’s way out, and I can’t trip merrily along with so much pain in the atmosphere.  

Maybe the biggest question is, since I’m just one, what possible difference can I make?

I’ve started by moving a magnet on my refrigerator, given to me several years ago by a friend who values all people. The people on the magnet have hairstyles, skin colors, and dress that are different from mine. Their culture and traditions are, too.

Since the refrigerator is one of my most frequent ports of call, if I put it at eyelevel with a space around it, I’m likely to notice. Maybe seeing it frequently will remind me to pay attention to the unique human beings that make our world interesting, people I often see without seeing.

Just maybe, the magnet will raise my consciousness that every person I meet feels joy and pain, jubilance and sorrow, companionship and loneliness, success and discouragement, that every person is a fellow traveler through life and may need a hand over a speed bump.

Back to the big question. I’m just one, what possible difference can I make? Maybe not a whole lot. But I can pay attention to the marvelous variety of people I meet, knowing that each of them has value. I can look them in the eye. I can smile, maybe even ask, “How are you?” and really listen to their answer. It’s not much, but it’s a start.