I grew up in a world of castes. Those that know my history associate this with the land of my birth, India. For me, the observation has a much broader reference. In my childhood, segregation was alive and thriving in the US. I vividly remember whites-only drinking fountains and bathrooms on my way through the South to visit my grandparents in Florida. It didn’t make sense then. It doesn’t today. Why should the color of one’s skin, one’s temporary economic power, or the scale of one’s intellect determine your value in society? Yet the differences between us, then and now, often determine how the community you live in responds to your journey.
Te harsh reality is simple that “princes and rulers don't amount to much. Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted, they shrivel when God blows on them. Like flecks of chaff, they're gone with the wind.” (Isaiah 40.24) Whatever attribute I ascribe to another, big, strong, rich, powerful, and even smart, in time they will fail and pass on. Their issues are my issues. The heart of their aches is my ache. The longing and thirst of their souls reflect my own.
Castes start within your heart and mine. The driver may be fear or uncertainty. It could be a need to feel like we belong. Whatever its source, you and I can change its existence – here, now. The standing of individuals in our community (family) starts in your heart and mine. We influence and often shape how others see them. Our acceptance, metaphorically arms of love and compassion, make a difference. It is first, and foremost, a choice.
Second, acknowledging and dealing with the fears and demons within is a priority. We will never solve this on our. Embracing our hearts because of God’s embrace is a start. Loving our souls because of God’s love for the same is a big step. Living with who we are, hope filled with what we can become with God, can be a way of living. God has called us Divinity’s children. This is your caste and mine.
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