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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Uncommon Ground

In a world fixated on the illusion of inclusiveness, we see a movement toward separation and division like none other in my lifetime. This is saying a lot since though very young; I was alive during the Civil Rights movement and remember the blatant disregard for the value of the individual.

Then it seemed we needed to find common ground, at the very least, a way to accept one another despite our differences. The goal was genuine inclusiveness under the mantra that everyone is equal. This led to major improvements culturally while exposing the ugly underbelly of hatred.

The true irony is those advances toward commonality have given way to the pursuit of “uncommon ground”. This is true because our focus is no longer, can we live together and care about one another despite our differences. Instead, of seeking what we have in common, life has become you must accept me and conform to my way of thinking because I am different.

How did the focus on what we do not have in common become the focus of our day? I believe this has occurred with division in mind.

You see, we are all different and unique regardless of our race, gender, or sexuality. This is true and those differences are what we have in common. Accepting this truth is where we begin, not doing so will lead us to our demise as a people and a nation.

The goal for equity and inclusion is the label given to the idea of focusing on our “uncommon ground”. Why? Perhaps to accomplish exactly what we see occurring all around us.

We are divided more than ever before and told this division is necessary to appreciate, recognize and validate those differences.

It sounds so virtuous, doesn’t it? With all that divides being the focus of our governments and media, virtue is clearly not the goal.

If not virtue, what could the goal possibly be? It is clear and apparent; the goal is control, and this is only possible when a people are divided. This is nothing new, as those in power in past generations have used this same tool to maintain the control of those they lead.

As always, we decide where we go and what we believe. Yet to do so, we must acknowledge there are forces at work pushing the notion of “uncommon ground” as the problem instead of acknowledging it is our differences we have in common.

We are all different, praise God! We look, think and act differently because of who are, not because of what someone else has said about us, done or is doing to us.

If we can agree with this truth, we have a common ground that can never be taken from us no matter how often we are reminded of our “uncommon ground”.

What if I am right, we are different and that is okay. What if you and I can consider and care for one another despite those differences? I believe this would be the “uncommon ground” on which were meant to stand!

1 Corinthians 9:22-23, “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings”.

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