Thanks to Nick Gier…

Dear Editor,

I wanted to thank Nick Gier for his article illuminating Gandhi’s profound influence on Martin Luther King.

I listened to a lecture given by the presiding Episcopal bishop, Michael Curry, on “Healing a House Divided.” The article made me think others might like to hear it.

King and Gandhi brought factious people together. Curry lays out a methodology for doing that as well. King recognized Gandhi’s emphasis on love and nonviolence as a superior method for social reform and adopted it. Today, we need to do the same.

Curry points out that as a result of the “learning power” of our computers and the internet, we get selective news that appeals to us and thus have segregated ourselves into clusters of like-mindedness. He suggests the only path to unify us and stop the divisive tribalism is a revival of human relationships across ethnic, religious and political lines. A revival of human relationships. What a novel idea. We need to start speaking to one another and find common ground on which to stand.

Am I the only one who honestly finds this a terrifying idea?

Bishop Curry suggests we start by reclaiming the values and ideals we already share, focusing on things that unite us. An example he uses is from the story of the Good Samaritan. A contentious lawyer questions Jesus about the definition of “neighbor.” Jesus tells the story, and then he asks the lawyer, “Who was a neighbor to the man left beaten by the side of the road?”  The lawyer replies, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus found common ground with his adversary by finding values they could agree on. Sounds like a good place to start. May we find the courage to go and do the same.

Mary McPherson

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