Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 21, 2012

Lion and the Lamb: Treat others with respect

By William W. McDermet III
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — I did not vote for Governor Mitt Romney. However, I was moved by his concession speech. I know it was painful for him to address the nation after he had planned for years to become president. Yet his dignity, sincerity, and grace were appreciated. I also was pleased by the comments from President Barack Obama in “wanting to work together” with Republicans. I hope he does!

This column appears on Wednesdays, with clarification at the end stating: “This column the theme that the lion and the lamb together.” The hope is that all creatures, great and small, will “get it together.” Friends, always keep alert for expressions of this theme.

Consider this newspaper item from a few months ago. “In 2008 I (Bob Tuke) ran against Lamar Alexander for his seat in the U.S. Senate. It was a tough race and he was a tough opponent, and the one reason I appreciate the most is that he is a man of principle and integrity. That is why he has been such a successful public servant over the years.”

Back in the 1970s columnist Erma Bombeck penned this gem. “My closest friend is a member of the opposite political party as mine, loves country and western music, sews beautifully, cooks like a gourmet, keeps a magazine house, looks great in a swimsuit, and once wrote a fan letter to Tennessee Ernie Ford. We couldn’t be more opposite. Does this bother me? You bet your bird it does. Yet, we have a mutual respect for one another and toleration for our differences.”

Recently my wife Sheral and I were enjoying a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) event. At meal times, we sat at various tables in order to meet other participants. At one breakfast we sat with a couple from Michigan. The discussion centered on current events. Ralph, our companion, stated, “The only media I can trust is *** ****!” I thought to myself, “Wow, that is the last place I would go for facts and opinion.”

The four of us continued eating and talking. We covered many issues, not altering our views. We finished, stood, and Ralph put out his hand for a handshake, and warmly said, “Thank you for the talk. You did not attempt to put me down for my beliefs.” I thanked him, shook his hand, and wished them a safe trip home.

If you are a part of the Christian faith, these words found in Matthew support my theme. “If you are in worship services and keep remembering all the things your brother/sister has against you, leave the sanctuary and go look up the one you have wronged and straighten things out. Only then may you return to church. ‘Be courteous at all times toward an opponent.’” (5:24-25, The Cotton Patch Version by Clarence Jordan.)

What do we have in common? Our humanity. Almost every day we have opportunities to exhibit this humanity in what we think, say, and do.

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This column is sponsored by Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice and dedicated by the local writers to the theme that the lion and the lamb can and must learn to live together and grow in their relationship toward one another to ensure a better world. Opinions expressed in “Lion and the Lamb” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact Ted Braun, editor, at 277-5135.