"We must trust, though we seem alone, there are others walking with us."

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 130: The cost of misunderstandings

Today's Reading: 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19; Psalm 20

If today's reading doesn't make one pause with sadness, I don't know what would. Forty thousand, seven hundred men lose their lives because of suspicion and misunderstanding.

David sends a delegation of compassion. Advisers to the grieving prince are suspicious. David's ambassadors are humiliated. A war breaks out.

How often has this pattern repeated itself not only in political and military history but in everyday, social history? Something that was intended for good is read as threatening. Hoping to get the upper hand, a threat ensues and a feud is kindled.

When will this recklessness stop? When will people check out the situation before making rash decisions?

Perhaps this is the thinking of a naive blogger. After all, how many people have been killed because of profiling? How many women and children have been shot because they seem to be a threat to a military division? How many soldiers minds and souls are destroyed because of mistaken violence?

On the other hand, trusting has also killed many. Enemies disguised as friends have blown up entire regiments. Terrorists disguised as gentle neighbors have killed thousands.

The suspicion is well grounded in history. The violence is our inheritance.

When will it end?

And as it filters down to our everyday lives, I wonder how many walls have been built and how many opportunities of friendship have been killed because of misunderstandings?

Today, let us backtrack to some of the rash, prejudicial decisions we have made in the past and let us discern whether or not we have paid greatly for a misunderstanding.

Perhaps someone has been misjudged.

Perhaps someone has been humiliated.

Or perhaps someone else has picked up our bill for our hunger for violence...

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