One of the joys of working for a large, multinational company and attending a multicultural church is that you get to meet lots of different people. Gay, straight, believers, non-believers, married, not married, with kids, without kids, employed, unemployed, disabled, pensioners, white, black, English born and foreigners.
As many of these groups have become the subject of debate in the run up to the election, I thought I'd share some of my observations about people of all kinds:
People like to work. People like working hard. They like being able to support themselves and their loved ones. They want to build a career, develop their skills and use their gifts.
People like buying things. They visit to Tescos, Sainsbury's and Poundland etc. They shop online on sites like Amazon. They purchase things to wear, read, put in their homes or to give to others. They may even grab a coffee whilst they're there. Which brings me to ....
People want to eat nice food. They enjoy shopping for, preparing, and eating all kinds of food. They dream of going on Masterchef. They get annoyed if someone calls during Bake Off. Sometimes they may order a takeaway or go out for a meal at a fast food place, a posh restaurant or someplace in between.
People want to go to church / temple / mosque and worship God. Because they are believers. Others aren't and would prefer do something else instead.
People want, or have, families. They have partners, spouses, siblings, parents, cousins etc who they love and want the best for. If they don't have kids, they may want some. They still dream of Mr or Ms Right.
People like to create. They write songs, draw, take pictures, cook, bake, design and share things on social media. They believe in making a contribution and trying to make the world a better place.
People like to contribute and have a say. They want to vote and pay taxes. They may shout at the TV during Question Time.
People like people ... They interact with other. They tell stories, jokes, share hugs and conversation with loved ones. They make and break friends. Laugh, cry ... They want to be valued and their voices heard.
And that's it. Working, shopping, eating, worshiping God (or not), having families and friends, creating things and having feelings. Terrible isn't it?! I'm sure you're as shocked as I am. On the other hand, it may sound familiar ...
Next time you hear someone complaining about gays, immigrants, Muslims, benefit claimants, single mothers or whatever group the universe has decided to demonize now, remember that.
They're not cockroaches, abominations, terrorists, scroungers or a problem to be solved with gunboats or benefit sanctions.
They're people. Created in the image of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made. And their lives matter.
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