Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Building bridges

Our world is filled with people who just do not get along.

As I write this blog post, missiles are being fired into Gaza and into Israel. People are camping out in bomb shelters and parents are doing what they can to protect their children.Thousands on both sides are suffering.

In the US, the election is over but it seems that the fighting has just begun. Sunday morning sermons are filled with anti-gay speech, and the Republicans and Democrats can' stop arguing with the other side long enough to take a drink of coffee.

We see it in our own communities. People don't act as we think they should, aren't as much of an activist or vote for the wrong candidate and are all of a sudden terrible people and in the throws of gossip.

Mike and I have spent six years with our Cruelty-Free World business meetings folks from every community out there. Some thought we were sinners, some thought we were crazy for being vegan and many thought we could just not have anything at all in common.

I would smile and think to myself "you have no idea".

I remember protesting outside of Norfolk Baptist Church on a cold Sunday morning. The church had placed a multi-thousand dollar ad in our local paper making it clear to the readers that they do not support gay people. There was some lack of clarity when the paper reported a vote in the church membership. We were protesting the ad and were there for church services. Afterwards, I remember a family walking to their car and stopping to speak with me. "You know", the husband/father said " we all have more in common than not". I agreed with him.

And I still do.

We all do indeed have more in common than not. Sometimes we just have to look for it. Or open our eyes and minds to it.

Building bridges is key for any activist. It's not easy. Whatever cause you work on, that cause is better off when you try to build bridges. For me, I think of all of the voiceless throughout the world, animal and human, who suffer.  The gay man about to be executed in Iran; the woman for into sexual slavery; the chicken in a cage so tiny she cannot flap her wings; the pig who desperately wants to live; the "different" teen continually bullied in high school.

The list of those we can help by building bridges is endless.

So reach out to those who do not agree with you. Reach out with kindness. Your kindness can be a powerful testament to your cause.

Thank you for reading!


  1. Lovely inspirational post for the holidays! Building bridges will also involve always taking the high road! I agree that kindness is always the way!

  2. I love this post. Thank you so much for the great words of inspiration and wisdom.