Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Can We Bridge This Gap?

To become neighbors is to bridge the gap between people. As long as there is a distance between us and we cannot look into one another's eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise. We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our prejudices, and avoid direct contact. We think of them as enemies. We forget that they love as we love, care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do. We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will.

Only when we have the courage to cross the road and look in one another's eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the human family.

Henri Nouwen


Linda said...

Ironic that you should send this particular writing. I have long been involved in disabilities and recently became the president of the board for a local organization named SNAP. We worked the hospitality booth for the Lavender Festival and when one of our staff and several of our participants went to pick up their badges and T-shirts there was a deliberate distancing by some of the volunteers.

It was physically evident that some of the organizational volunteers at the event were not comfortable with individuals with developmental disabilities. Individuals with developmental disabilities laugh, cry, work, play and desire things of life just as able-bodied folks.

We have a fundraiser coming up on September 7th at Carrie Blake Park in Sequim, celebrating the 10 years of serving individuals with developmental disabilities and I sure hope some of those "uncomfortable folks" will leave their safety nets and will join us and learn there is nothing to fear.

Linda J. Klinefelter, MS
Patient Navigator
Olympic Medical Cancer Center
844 North 5th Avenue
Sequim, Washington 98382
email address:

Kristi said...

I really like this, very very good.

Jan said...

How you found this great image, I'll never know. It goes perfectly and stands out in my memory! Thank you.