I heard a knock on my door. My daughter assumed it was her uncle and rushed to open it. It was not her uncle but a lovely well-dressed family of a mother, father and their daughter. Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to my door before, and I am never displeased by their presence. Sometimes it is an elderly woman with her grandchild or two sisters or friends, or whomever. But they are always polite and sensitive and I appreciate that they have taken the time to get up early Saturday mornings, dress as if they are going to church, and pass out literature that one can choose to read or not read. Nothing is forced.
Yesterday’s literature especially caught my attention. It was entitled “A World Without Prejudice: When?” and it talked about how discrimination and prejudice is nonexistent in heaven.
“God is not partial,” said the Christian apostle Peter (Acts 10:34,35) having received a divine vision in which he was told: “You stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.” Or simply created?
Fifty years ago the work of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., caused over 100 countries to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Other global initiatives were adopted in the decades that followed. Yet in 2012, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated “Nevertheless, racism continues to cause suffering for millions of people around the world.”
What’s the answer? Attempts to eliminate prejudice must not merely curb discriminatory acts but also change a person’s thoughts and feelings toward people of another group.
Myself, I’ve always thought that the best way to do this is not just by reading about their issues, but to actually spend time with another group of people, invite them to your home, share a meal, visit their place of worship, ask them questions. We do not have to travel overseas to meet a new people and culture. It’s right here in our neighborhood, waiting to be discovered.