My kids went to bed late last night. And they went to bed sad. Our team lost the World Series by one run.
I don’t know how many of you readers are local, but this town that we live in has been on a wild, crazy ride with our hometown Royals for the past month. A city that had forgotten how much it loves baseball finally remembered. A city that for 29 years had suffered through 100-loss seasons and years where the team was so bad they didn’t even take a team picture came alive in October with love for their boys in blue.
I could spend this space talking about how our society places too much emphasis on professional sports or how we pay our athletes too much money, but I’d rather not. Instead, I want to talk about the great lesson my girls have learned about finding common ground with other people.
In the midst of a contentious election season when the talk is usually divisive and abrupt, we’ve experienced a month where everyone in this town has found something in common, a reason to smile, a reason to talk. It didn’t matter if you were Republican, Democrat or anything in between. No one cared if you were black, white or purple. If you had a Royals shirt, cap or jacket on, you were gifted with a smile or conversation with perfect strangers.
When the sadness fades and the frustration at leaving the tying run 90-feet from home passes, we’ll look back on the past month and realize that for those 30 days, we’ve all been standing on common ground. We’ve all simply been neighbors.
And that’s what I want my girls to take away from this experience. I want them to remember the October where everyone in this metropolitan city of more than 1 million people was our neighbor. I want them to remember that there’s always common ground to be found with other people.
Because I think that’s what Jesus meant when He told us to love our neighbors. He meant for us to look around and ignore the trivial things like political party affliation, skin color, what neighborhood you live in, or whether you like Pepsi or Coke. He wants us to love those around us no matter our differences. If we treated each other every day like Kansas Citians have treated each other in the past month, we’d be a whole lot closer to what I think God wants us to look like because we’d look a whole lot more like Him.
So as the sadness of loss fades away and we remember how much fun this blue October has been, I hope my girls will also remember that it’s not that hard to love your neighbor. It’s not that hard to find common ground. We just have to look for it.