The City on a Hill

I wrote this speech several years ago.  It defines the general philosophy in which I approach life and other people. Our are often filters for what is truth, but they don't always interpret truth as reality. Sometimes they let us see what we want to see. Its sad that I only developed this philosophy after the partial loss of my vision. I guess losing my sight helped me gain insight.

The City on a Hill
 
The way you look in this mirror is the way everyone else sees you.
People tend to make judgments with their eyes.
The eyes lead to the brain where judgments are made using the information that is given to us.
In my life, people have judged me quite often
because they have no idea what it is like to be me
People strive for tolerance
but we do not have to like what we tolerate
Last spring, I had a conversation with a friend who is blind.
I asked him what it is like to be blind?
He replied and said: “Its like closing your eyes.”
I am sure that at some point we have all clsed our eyes so we can see what it is like to be blind.
What I am asking you to do is not all that different.
If you close your eyes, you will be more accepting of those who are different from you.
Acceptance will lead to more relationships and better friendships.
Acceptance is the city on a hill.
It overlooks the vast wasteland of ignorance.
The Road of Understanding winds up the hill, but the way is frought with peril.
The road passes through the city gates:
Tolerance.
Yet, we only stop there and do not enter the city.
We stop because of fear.
If we passed through the gate, then hatred and prejudice would end,
but if not, we would be carried by the winds to the valley below,
and we would destroy ourselves.
If you want to live ,
close your eyes
and take the first step.

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