Friday, June 29, 2012

People. Just people.

Sometimes I think people forget that other people are just like them. Human. People. With stories and hearts and hurts and reasons. 

All of us. We're just people. 

I wonder if we'd relate to each other better if we remembered that. Instead of looking at each other as walking agendas, or time bombs, or obstacles. 

Recently I read Bob Goff's beautiful book, Love Does. It's one of those books that I might never lend out. Not because I wouldn't recommend it, but because I want to keep it within eye site at all times because it reminds me that people are people. And that there is good. And love, well, it does. 

In one of my favorite chapters, Goff tells the story of how his children wrote to world leaders and asked for a chat. A visit. It was post 9/11 and he had asked his three kids "...what would you ask them [the world leaders] to help make sense of life, faith, hope, and the events that are unfolding around them?" and his children responded 1. invite them over 2. ask what they were hoping for 3. if they wouldn't come for a visit, could we meet with them and do an interview to capture answers from question #2. 

So they wrote letters to all the world leaders, sent them off, and then started getting responses. And they went to visit world leaders. Bob Goff and his wife and three kids. A world road trip of sorts.

As people. 

{this story is much better told in Love Does. I'm summarizing, and can't help but share the story, but it is really worth the read. As is the rest of his book!! I bought the book myself... no one told me to write these words...}

Goff writes:

"Now, if the leaders were talking to grown-ups like me, they would talk about boring things like having more jobs, gross domestic product, better schools, and more roads. You know, the kind of stuff crafted for public consumption. But they weren't talking to me they were talking to our kids. Sweet Maria and I were just roadies carrying the cameras.
What would happen more often than not is that the kids would begin in an official reception room and have an official meeting with the leader. But then the leaders would realize these were just kids who had no agenda other than to be friends and they would invite us back to their private offices where they could just talk as friends. The kids would ask questions about the leaders' families, how they got into public service, and what their hopes were for the future. The Leaders would talk about their children and grandchildren, what they were doing when they were our kids' ages, and their dreams of friendship between people from our two countries."

People. Talking. Listening. 

I wish we could all keep that child like naivete that understands that there are important things to discuss, but that the most important things in life, like family, our hopes and dreams, are what bind us all together. And ask about those things. Not just the stuffy political stuff that - yes - matters... but we speak with compassion when we understand and remember that we each have hearts. We're just people. 

My favorite quote from the chapter, maybe even the whole book is,  "I want to live in a new normal where I can reach out to people who are different from me and just be friends."

Yes. Let's make that the new norm. 


  1. What a thoughtful book. Compassion. The world does need more of that.

  2. Just the other night, I was having a sleepover with my friends. I am always in awe how we have managed to preserve our high school self in us... the silly laughs, hilarious jokes, and the passion of being those innocent school girls. It is so much fun this way because then we can still think of life as something very simple and not complicated chaos...

  3. I wish your word spreads around. I wish it becomes the new norm. Where people are people. And where families, dreams, hopes and love win up against anything that saddens the world.

  4. waoooo nice too would love to ................SAY "I want to live in a new normal where I can reach out to people who are different from me and just be friends