Write Again … Beloved community

Published 7:33 pm Friday, August 9, 2019

Good morning. Or, if you now don’t receive your paper until later in the day, may it be a “good day” to you.

Perhaps, no, probably I should acknowledge that I’m aware that many don’t take our paper, and certainly there are those who do who don’t read my scribblings. I get that.

So. Just where am I going with this, you may ask. Maybe just to acknowledge that what I write or say isn’t very important.

Moving on. Across the years, in my readings, I have seen — in different settings and contexts — the concept of “the beloved community” referenced. The noble notion of a caring body of people who have chosen to reach for a better, more humane and inclusive way of living.

The idea of such a community would be viewed by some as unrealistic liberal idealism, a counter-culture that is little more than an unattainable dream.

How would I describe a “beloved community?” It would be one in which the people believe that they are all brothers and sisters. And share a common humanity.

There would be a genuine caring for and about one another. Such a community would believe that such characteristics as open-mindedness, tolerance, forgiveness, respect, would be a part of both the individual and collective ethos.

None of these characteristics imply that common sense be set aside, and a mushy everybody-loves-everybody mentality should prevail. It is a mature, come-let-us-reason-together as rational, caring, respectful human beings, way of living. A turning away from the us versus them mentality.

We, you and I, live in a time when so many respond favorably to those who insult, ridicule, demean any and all with whom there is disagreement. In such a toxic climate division trumps unity.

Aren’t we better than this? Aren’t we?

Can the “beloved community” concept ever be a reality on a broad and varied spectrum of race, ethnicity, religion, political views, socioeconomic status and any other things that seem to set us apart?

Perhaps the best response to that question is to deflect it, by saying, “Let us at least try to be better.”

Enough of my feeble efforts at attempting to grapple with such a serious topic.

As I wrote in the preface to this piece, what I write or say isn’t very important. The only value to this is maybe, just maybe, there might be one or two folks who are moved to give some thought to the matter.


APROPOS — “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

  • John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963