We are often given the conclusion that the “American Way” is the way the world thinks – or at least it should. It may come as a surprise to some but all the people in the world do not think as we do. As a matter of fact, our preoccupation with self-importance may rob us of some constructive cross-cultural friendships.
The misguided pronouncements of candidate Trump shows America’s ignorance about how we are viewed by others in the world and the importance they should place on America’s (much less a candidate’s) opinion. From the Pope to Cuba, we are quick to impose our thinking on others as if it is a world view - it is not. In fact, on some of these issues we would not even be able to rally a majority of Americans.
It is important for those in leadership to listen and consider the input from others. We might miss out on wisdom because we are so committed to doing things our way. Being so hardheaded may lead us to a quagmire that has serious ramifications far beyond our borders and may lead to unnecessary hardship or sometimes even loss of life. We must accept the fact that America is not always right.
The tragic loss of life in Belgium, Iraq, Nigeria, France and America sends a signal that the world is in turmoil. Death should be mourned, regardless of location or the skin color of the victims. This is particularly true when the people are innocent, whether they are in an opera house, a schoolhouse, a mosque, an airline terminal, a subway, or at work. These people do not deserve to die.
In an effort to seek retribution of a heinous act, we may have unleashed a force that is much more sinister than we imagined. We are left with the option of living in fear or committing our army and resources to continually seek out an enemy that could be within our midst. It would do us well to rid ourselves of the hate and seek understanding of our fellow human beings. We just may be able to avert war and the unnecessary loss of life.
God did not bless us with so much wisdom simply because we live in America. God did not reward us with intelligence because we happen to speak English. While I am thankful for the many blessings accorded us, I believe the concept of “no respect for other persons” extends far beyond our borders. In fact, I believe it to be a universal principle. It deserves respect from individuals no matter what country they call home.
We live in a smaller world. We can cross borders electronically and communicate with people who may live in circumstances far different than ours. It should be our goal to understand the perspective of others. It may lead to better conclusions.