In 2013, Chris Rosati who had ALS, hatched a scheme to steal a Krispy Kreme donut truck. The plan was to “go around and give away the donuts,” Rosati said. “I was going to go to the nearest school … One of the blessings of ALS is, what are they going to do?” As the CBS News reported “Fortunately, it never came to that. Krispy Kreme gave Chris and his wife, Anna, a busload of donuts, which they joyfully delivered to city parks, cancer wards and children’s hospitals.” Sadly Chris died last week from this horrible disease at the young age of 46 leaving behind a wife and two young children.
One of his daughters, Logan, said of her Dad; “He tried to make friends with the world. I think it’s hard to do that. So, I’m proud of him.”
I have thought about what this little girl said about her father all weekend. I thought about it as I attended a memorial service for my friend’s wife Saturday. I thought about it at the worship service Sunday at the mission church my wife and I have been attending. “He tried to make friends with the world. I think it’s hard to do that.”
Making friends with the world must begin with respect, respect for our differences, respect for our individual beliefs, simply respect for each other. I don’t get a sense that respect is a key ingredient in our current political cycle today. This country is fractured and the divide between us grows wider and deeper everyday. Sadly our leadership, on both sides, have encouraged this growing schism. It is a turf war reminiscent of the one President Abraham Lincoln faced in the late 1800’s, accept this time the issues reach beyond just racism and include religion, nationalism, sexism and a host of other “isms” as well.
A kid I work with went to a county fair in a small rural community about an hours drive from our city this weekend. He talked about all the fried food they were serving at this fair and the people, all shapes and sizes. I asked him what he had learned from this experience and his observation was very simple; “Man we are all different”.
Too many of us live in our own little bubble, a bubble filled with people who look like, think like, believe like, hell even smell like we do. Over time we begin to believe that our bubble is the only true world that should exist. It becomes the representation of what we think the rest of world should look like. There is no room in our bubbles for diversity or change because that would be uncomfortable. We thrive on comfort, keeping things the same whether it is a realistic view or not.
Chris Rosati tried to “make friends with the world”. I wonder what the world would be like if each of us moved outside of our little bubbles and made friends with someone in the bubble next to us? Making this leap has to start with respect rather than hate or discontent for ideals that are different from ours. We all must accept the fact that this country was built on diversity. There wasn’t suppose to be one ruling race or one state sponsored religion despite what a segment of the population would have us believe. We are different. Even the people within our own bubbles are different though the differences may seem subtle at best.
Take the time to find some common ground with the people living outside of your bubble. Will it be easy? Oh hell no but we have to start somewhere and it might as well start with you and I.
“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.” – Roger Ebert