Then you don’t understand people.
I spent the last week with a team of 12 Americans working together to dig a well in a village in Southeastern Honduras. This village of 5000 doesn’t have running water in their homes. Many homes don’t have electricity either.
Seven team members worked on the well while the other five members played with children in the village and taught the women basic hygiene.
Several of the men in the village helped us with the well. Through typical language barriers we enjoyed establishing new friendships. Women from the village took turns providing food and coffee for breaks and lunches.
The four days I spent in the village I observed the way they worked, played, and interacted with each other.
It reminded me of what I have noticed about people regardless if it is in my hometown of Austin, other parts of America, Central America, Europe, Asia or anywhere else in the world.
We are more alike than we are different.
We take pride in the work we do.
We enjoy building, creating, and enjoying accomplishments. I have worked with men from around the world build school buildings, improve their homes, clear underbrush on a tree farm, and now dig a well.
In my mind I see the smiles on each face full of satisfaction from a job well-done.
We find joy in our children.
In every part of the world, I witness mothers and fathers desiring the best for their children.
Of course you say! We all enjoy talking about our children’s accomplishments. And who doesn’t show off pictures of their kids or grandkids?
We all do!
We enjoy laughter and play.
People of all ages enjoy laughing and playing. Children from all around the world enjoy a game of chase, competition or house.
Men and women sit around trading funny stories about life. Some of my hardest laughs have been with people who I share very little of the same language.
We long for something bigger than ourselves
Even if you claim to be an atheist or agnostic, I dare say that you have a desire for there to be something more. It is how God created us. He placed in each of us a longing for Him.
You can theoretically deny this, but the more I spend time with people from around the world and completely different cultures and lifestyles, this is a commonality we all have.
Some end up worshiping created things such as trees or animals. Others place their faith in a culturally accepted deity. And some the allegiance is to a simple higher force or power.
As I experience this more, a couple of things shift inside me.
First, my innate prejudices slip away. Instead of seeing how I am different or “better” than someone else, the similarities draw us together.
Second, the sameness reinforces my willingness to share about Jesus Christ. Why? Because the more I see how I am very much like a guy living in a village in Honduras, then I understand His need to know Jesus personally. I need to know Him.
When we think we are different from other people, especially people from other cultures, then we tend to shy away from them.
Question – What are some other ways we are alike as people?