Practice kindness, help spread peace
In a time when so many Americans of every background are increasingly filled with fear and distrust, not only of terrorists from abroad, but of our fellow Americans who “appear” to be different from ourselves, each and every citizen needs to respond in a way that will help to alleviate a situation unprecedented in our history since the days of the Know-Nothing Party of the 19th century. Certainly our so-called national leadership is not leading the way. So it is up to you and me.
I propose that as we pass strangers in the mall or on the street – particularly if those individuals look different from us, either in the color of their skin, or the clothes they wear, or in the language we hear them speaking – we greet them with a broad smile and a greeting such as “peace,” “shalom” or “salaam” (all three of these mean the same thing). Or if you prefer, “God be with you” or “The Lord be with you.” It sure beats a mumbled “hi,” or a turning of the head and looking the other way. For Christians, may I suggest this as a Lenten discipline? It can’t do any harm. And it might do some good!
The Rev. Charles G. Biegner Jr.