My family and I like to go to a scenic pond downtown and feed the ducks.
Not the geese. Just the ducks.
I don’t like the geese. They’re loud, obnoxious, and feisty. In fact, ever since they chased me down and kept biting my ankles, I’ve made a very conscious effort to stay clear of them.
But not my daughter.
Right before I grabbed that video, she joyfully said, “I like geese.” I responded, “No, you like ducks. The geese are mean.”
Not really, if you think about it. Sure, to an extent, not liking geese because they’re loud, obnoxious, and feisty is okay, and liking ducks is okay. They’re just animals, and it’s just a preference.
But if you get down to the heart of the matter, there I was, telling my daughter to like one type of bird over another, not based on beauty or anything halfway redeemable, but instead based on what was wrong and how different one was from the other. In short, the ducks were friendlier. I got along with them better. They weren’t loud, obnoxious, or feisty.
That’s how we are as humans, isn’t it? We like one group of people over another, because one group is loud, obnoxious, or feisty. So we prefer people who are friendlier, with whom we get along better.
In short, we tend to discriminate. And it’s not always a racial issue. Sometimes it’s a “You’re loud and obnoxious, so I would rather not talk to you. Or help you. Or be near you.”
Jesus tells his disciples at one point, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things (giving food or drink or a room or clothes or a visit) to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.” I was so resolved in my mind to not feed the geese that day. They were loud, obnoxious, and feisty. They were intolerable. I didn’t like the geese.
But not my daughter. Not the geese.
My daughter loves geese and ducks just alike.
We should love people, loud and quiet, obnoxious and calm, feisty and friendly, just alike.