Thus far, the great joy of my little blogging experience has been hearing from others.  Friends and family have shared personal experiences and thoughts. I have learned and enjoyed those interactions. Thanks!

We have added several people to the blog over the last few weeks. My main theme so far has been the great need for dialog in America. I have discussed some of the reasons we have the problem. I have attempted to have a dialog about a few major issues.  Dialog means listening, seeing strengths in other positions and weaknesses in our own positions before we launch into diatribe against the other person. I hope the new people will join in the conversation.

If you have a particular issue about which, you would like to have a dialog, please let me know.

A Driving Lesson

After last week’s blog I thought a lot about driving. The 40,000 total is a lot of people dying each year. That got my attention.

In Mathew 22 and Mark 12 we are given the Great Commandment—God, others, self.

DUH, it never dawned on me that the commandment applies to my driving. I looked it up– there is no asterisk that says I’m excused when I get behind the wheel. I am slow on the uptake but I finally came to realize I was putting myself before others when I drive and I had been for years.

This fact will really age me; When I learned to drive, Drivers Ed was not required. I learned to drive by experience alone. In my little book, “Being a Proverbial Student” I stressed being a life-long learner. At age 76 it is nice to know I can still learn lessons.

 Applying the Great Commandment to my driving is a big lesson. All of my life I never consciously put others before myself when I drove, so I tried driving with others in mind.

We are started on another 2-week trip. Our trips take more time because we do not drive over 5 hours. We stay with friends or family and the go on. The trips take more days, but at our age it makes travel much safer. In addition, we very much enjoy spending time with family and friends.

 We are two days into our trip. Both days I tried my best to put others first. It was not easy after over 60 years of putting myself first.

As crazy as this may sound, when we arrived, I felt safer, my road rage was reduced and I arrived at my destination with a little more love, joy and peace

I am not suggesting everyone needs to drive 5 miles under the speed limit in the inside lane. I know in Chicago, Atlanta and other big cities, speed and changing lanes are often necessary and even safer. I am suggesting an attitude of others before self in all conditions, will lead to safer driving.

The Great Commandment is a great life lesson in all things.

I am not the only one concerned with the need for dialog.

In my very first blog I expressed how I appreciated the writing of Dana Hall McClain. The need for proper dialog was shown yet again in a well-written column by her that appeared in the August 11 edition of the al.com newspaper.

She reported is often asked: “Why do you, as a conservative Christian columnist, spend so much time challenging your own tribe, rather than attacking secular progressives?”

For those of you who read my early blogs you understand the dialog requires listening by both sides, a willingness to face weakness in personal views and face strengths in other’s views before attacking the other side.

 Obviously, the Christians asking her the questions are not interested in dialog. They would rather attack first and not have to listen to weaknesses in their personal positions; unfortunately, not an unusual stance.

She summed up her response with the delightful idea: “I just believe in sweeping my own porch before I ring my neighbor’s doorbell to tell him his is dirty.” What a wonderful image.

Those who know me well can correctly predict the verse and image I would use yet again—I need to get the plank out of my eye before I worry about the saw dust in others.

 She obviously shares my concern for listening and facing our weaknesses before we criticize others.

I believe we should be leaders in the process, not the ones frightened to face our weaknesses. We do not need to be leaders in diatribe against others. We should have the courage to listen, to accept our weaknesses and accept the strengths in others before we find fault.

Until next week

Tolerance

Jerry

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