You begin saving the world by saving one person at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics. — Charles Bukowski
Imagine approaching Earth from space. Far enough away, we cannot see the Earth. There is no trace of man. Mankind does not matter. There is only me, lonely me. Only “I” matters.
Eventually, the Earth appears, a small, glittering jewel.
Closer, at orbital heights above our home, we can see traces of man. We can spot the Great Wall of China. We can detect plumes of pollution streaming into the air and the water.
Closer still, cruising above the land, we can observe groups of people, people separated by color, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation, job, wealth, sports team, and so many other things.
Some enjoy the heights. They revel in distantly observing and manipulating ant-like souls. Most join one of the groups. We want to be with people like us. The more the people around us are like us the more we feel they affirm us.
What we see depends upon where we choose to stand. If we stand close enough, we can see an individual. We can converse with someone. We can know their joys and sorrows. We can examine their virtues and their blemishes. Only up close can we know our neighbor.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. — Martin Luther King, Jr. (quote from here)
Only up close can we see, hear, and touch our neighbor. Only up close can we appreciate a unique person, a person like our self. Far away we see differences that don’t much matter. Far enough away we see no one. Then we cannot know our brothers and sisters, people like us, people made in the image of our Creator.