What It Means to Me and What It Means to You (But Mostly What It Means to You)

wang-Zhiyuan-thrown-to-the-wind-trash-sculpture (1)Over last weekend SBC, TBC, and I cleared out a storage unit and we had three piles:  stuff to toss, stuff to give away, stuff to pack in the car and drive back to Chicagoland.  It was a semi-painful, one-person’s-treasure-is-another-person’s-trash family tableau.

There was one piece of junk  property that involved  serious debate.  What it meant to me = ridiculous trash.  What it meant to one of my kids = memories of a fun day in college when life was sweet and worry-free.

We packed this item and I drove it 12 hours west.  It now sits in our basement.

Maybe it will be there forever.  Maybe it will become an interesting planter in a future apartment.  Maybe it will get trashed after a sufficient period of time.


It occurs to me that our world is a mess because we don’t get each other.  One person’s terrorism is another person’s authentic act of spiritual devotion.  One person’s spiritual epiphany is another person’s abandonment of commitment.  One person’s rude gesture is another person’s act of faithful defiance.

What this action/comment/ritual/decision/thing means to me is not what it means to you.  What if we asked “What does this mean to you?” before we criticized it?  What if we had conversations about our differences without judgment or condemnation?  What if we were interested in learning from each other?

This is what I pondered as I drove for twelve hours on Monday.  And I also thought about MLK and how much I appreciated the Selma movie.

Image source.



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