Beliefnet

German Chancellor , turned her car around suddenly on a busy freeway. She was speaking about the problems Germany is facing with Muslim foreign workers: "Of course the tendency had been to say, 'Let's adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other.' But this concept has failed, and failed utterly." Ms. Merkel has previously held very liberal views on immigration… not anymore.

Hotly debated topics, like the , tend to develop with a groundswell of support that completely overtakes any opposition. What if you have a difference of opinion? What if you’re a German who thinks it’s great that poor immigrants escaped poverty in Turkey and other Arab countries by finding employment in German? But what if you’re talking to your unemployed German neighbor, who needs the job that the immigrant population came to fill with cheap labor? Can you give voice to your opinion and remain a compassionate friend?

, culture clash is unavoidable, but it can be overcome. There are small towns all over America, where waves of immigration have revitalized their aging communities. In Tenneseee, home of a packing plant, are brought together by an organization called . Right on the home page of the website it says: Immigration as a two way street: new immigrants learn to fully participate in their new communities and receiving community members begin to broaden their own sense of identity.

Couldn’t we all stand to expand our definition of who we are? Pride in our heritage– yes. Denying others the same right— no. Reality today is this: We live in a multi-cultural world. No one culture is better than the other, it’s just different. We need to see the bigger picture to be comfortable in the smaller one.

Sometimes, I leave my car behind and I take the train to get where I need to go. I sit in my seat, and occasionally look up from my book to stare out the window. I watch mile after mile of  congested highway, while I whiz by. I think how blessed I am to have the option to ride the or get in my own automobile. Either way, my two-way, open minded perspective serves me well.

 

Treat your neighbors as yourself.
Don't lie or steal.
Honor your parents.
They seem pretty straightforward
right up until I seek clarification,
that will help me find
loopholes and exceptions.
Just who are my neighbors?
Do white lies count?
Help me simplify my obedience
instead of complicating it
with qualifications and quantification.
You can help me do this
if only I will meet Your gaze,
releasing my focus from the minutiae
I use as a distraction
from what I know You want.

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