The percentage of Americans who have never known
- a Buddhist: 59 percent
- an undocumented immigrant: 54 percent
- a Muslim: 46 percent
- a homeless person: 45 percent
- an evangelical Christian: 40 percent
- a political liberal: 25 percent
- a political conservative: 24 percent
- a former inmate: 15 percent
- a wealthy person: 12 percent
Interesting poll question with equally interesting conclusions which reinforce that well worn adage that "Birds of a feather flock together." We, in America, find it awfully difficult to step outside our comfort zones. Too few are willing to take the adventure of meeting and getting to know someone who has a different life story. Oh, the joys we are missing!
As I look at the list, I am currently only missing the Buddhist. I am smaller for the lack. As William Hazlitt said, "We can scarcely hate any one that we know." Perhaps this is the rub. We are more content to dwell in the shelter of our ignorance (which often breeds hatred and distrust) rather than step into the bright light of relationship. A little civil discourse combined with generous amounts of patient listening would serve us all well.
Meet someone new this week! Who knows what interesting and potentially life changing conversations you might have!