International Day for Tolerance Novena: Day 2 | Education & Joy
Our duty of educating ourselves is one that has no end. There is no definable goal we are trying to reach; we do not stop learning when we think we know enough, or when we feel comfortable. There is always more for us to learn.
This can be a challenge, which we have certainly seen during this election season. Between foreign policy, domestic issues, federal and local laws, job appointments, and a host of other issues, there is an unfathomable amount of information for us to learn. There is, perhaps, a temptation to form an opinion and seek out the information that supports that opinion, rather than the other way around.
In order to respect and tolerate other people’s opinions, we absolutely must educate ourselves about the differing viewpoints behind each issue. Even if we don’t agree with someone (even a person who is elected to office), we can at least understand how they reached their conclusion. This leads to real dialogue.
Education does not end with the day of the election. Continue to learn about the issues, even if a vote didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, and find out what you can do next.
We ask God to grant us the fruit of the Spirit, joy, which is born of an honest and humble endeavor to educate ourselves. Together with Bishop Reed, we pray:
Our differences have become so stark, and over the past year and a half have become points of contention. Can we seek out opportunities for celebration and joy? Can we educate ourselves about other people so that we can learn not only about areas of agreement, but about areas of disagreement that might create a path for understanding down the road? The more we close ourselves off from learning about others, the more we trap ourselves in despair. But the Spirit brings joy.