Soul sisters born from different mothers
Contributor
Written by
Beth Shepherd
June 2011
Contributor
Written by
Beth Shepherd
June 2011

Last week I had lunch with a new acquaintance. It was our first time meeting in person; prior to this day, we’d only recently “met” via the blogosphere.

 

Within minutes we were chatting about the myriad ways our lives intersected: both raised in small upstate New York towns barely an hour apart, both bloggers, adoptive moms (adoptive-mom-in-waiting in my case), long road to parenthood filled with infertility treatments, adoption efforts gone awry and even similar career paths. The parallels in our lives were uncanny, our shared viewpoints were many.

 

I left feeling like the world was a smaller, friendlier place. And that’s a feeling I really need these days.  Two people who really didn’t know each other, yet found so much common ground.

 

Bloggers make the choice to put their stories—sometimes very personal and intimate stories—out on the internet, available for any and everyone to read. For the most part, that’s a good thing. Blogging helps build community, establishes connections to a treasure trove of resources, and sparks professional and personal relationships.

 

But there is a seamy underbelly too and most of us, who have been “out there” for awhile, experience it eventually. Prejudice, anger, hatred, mistrust and ignorance: I’m not naïve but at times I am truly shocked at the mean-spirited comments that freely fly. Lately, I’ve seen more of them than I’d care to.

 

It’s not that I don’t welcome dissenting opinions, and I’m all for healthy debate. The world would be a boring place if everyone had the same perspective. Diverse outlooks make planet Earth, and the billions of people who call it home, a more interesting place to live.

 

In the U.S. we are very fortunate to have freedom of speech and freedom of press. To be able to say what we want and write what we want, without fear of reprisal, is a liberty that can easily be take for granted. Of course, this freedom also means that we’re inevitably going to run into those who say things we don’t like, don’t agree with, find distasteful or downright disturbing.

 

I want to believe that, on the balance, people have more in common with each other than not, that we’re more likely to rush to the aid of our neighbor than throw the first punch. That said, I’m savvy enough to know that every day isn’t going to be lunch with a soul sister from a different mother.

 

Still, as Pollyannaish as it may sound, lately I’ve found myself hoping that people will either “play nice” or metaphorically “stay home.” I wish people would be more respectful of each other and treat each other with greater care. I know it isn’t always going to be like that, but sometimes I like to dream.

 

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

~John Lennon, Imagine

Let's be friends

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