This weekend I was reading from the Journal Plough on the encouragement from my good friend Tim Bomgardner, Executive Director at Interyear Fellowship. It’s not a journal I would naturally pick up and read but I’m glad I did. While reading an article on student loan debt I was provoked by a common issue we all face, that spending on consumer goods has not driven people into debt. Rather, the rising costs of fixed goods like housing, healthcare, and education, combined with stagnant wages have.

I experience that fact when I moved my family and looked for budget-friendly housing; when I reapplied for health insurance this year; when I had a friend who couldn’t buy medicine for their sick child because it was too expensive, even with insurance. I have the full realization that I have more privileges than many, so if I struggle, how much more someone else is? It’s heartbreaking to then watch through social media channels this week many joining into what I call ‘arm-chair shaming’ – and this came from all sides. It seems something in our society and culture has gone awry. Have we drifted so far apart in our differences that we have forgotten just how much we actually belong together? 

John Thronton wrote in the article I was reading, “Until we recognize the deeper problem, we will be hindered from taking collective action to build better lives together…We need a theology that says we belong to one another.“ While this quote was in the context of student debt I couldn’t help but think how much it resonates with so many issues in front of us today. Brene Brown says, “We need to hold hands with strangers. We need reminders – collective joy and pain – reminders that we are inextricably connected to each other…For that to happen, “We have to slowly move groups of people out of what we consider moral inclusion. We have to move them out of what we see as humanity,” Brown said. “If you go on Twitter today, or Facebook, or any social [media] we see people on the left and right using dehumanizing language about each other like that. And it is terrifying.”

On this MLK day I’m reflecting on the simple, yet, wise words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I can do better; we can do better together.

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#mlk #martinlutherkingjr #inclusion #diversity #differences #unity #peace #loveaboveallesle #lovewins #studentdebt #healthcare #education #housing #medicalexpense #cometogether #thrive #thrive2019 #thrivercommunity #jeremytudor #wecandobetter

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