The Bible says we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Can you love other people without knowing them? I'm a tolerant person, so I don't actually hate other people; but half the time, I don't know who my neighbors students and colleagues are. I'm busy, and I respect the privacy of others. I don't want to be a snoop. This is mutual. But taken too an extreme, this attitude leads to a breakdown of community.
Last weekend, when Joe was away, I attended worship at St. Mary's Catholic Church with my friend Charlotte. I found I knew some of the people there-- I just didn't know them in this context. I learned that one of my former students (above), now a first grade teacher, is in the Knights of Columbus. I had heard of this Catholic service organization, but had no idea what it did until I researched it online after the service. I ran into my colleague, Dr. Lee Daniels, seen below with his daughter.
Often, when we speak of building community, we think of creating it within our own circles of church, school, neighborhood, and workplace. But in a complex world, we have to reach beyond. \
2nd below: scene from St. Mary's Church.