/ Accepted

A few weeks ago, Mike and I were having dinner at Mike O’Shays when a woman approached and asked when we were going to walk her neighborhood. She went on to tell us that she looks for us every Sunday morning and was disappointed we had not been in her neighborhood. We explained that there are hundreds of neighborhoods in our community and we would eventually walk all of them in our Belonging Revolution. When asked where she lived, she said she lived on Captain’s Lane.

So, this last Sunday, Mike and I parked our cars on Captain’s Lane and began our walk. Let me say this. The homes on Captain’s Lane and in the surrounding neighborhood are considerably more “upscale” than those we had walked before. The starter castles we saw were in the $1 million dollar range. And while there were no gates surrounding this neighborhood, it was adjacent to beautiful Lake McIntosh.

Notwithstanding the price of houses in any one neighborhood, we believe everyone has a deep desire to belong. And the people we met in this neighborhood did indeed have a longing to part of their neighborhood and their community. The folks we encountered seemed to be very aware of the wide range of happenings in Longmont. We had several long conversations about various topics and, overall, those we met were genuinely satisfied with life in Longmont and their neighborhood. Those we asked to participate in future community conversations were quite eager to help out. And while people were content in their lives, the social issues we have in our City were not lost on any of them. Many wanted to help in any way they could and we let them know there would be plenty of opportunities for them to serve their fellow men and women very soon! 

In the political realm, there seems to be considerable conversation about forcing those who “have” to give to those who “do not have.” Here is a thought! What if we encouraged those who “have” to feel and believe they belonged to a larger community, a state, a country, a world! Would people just want to help out from their own sense of goodness? Naive? Not regulatory enough? What if we stopped chiding those on Wall Street and the very wealthy and had a conversation with them about belonging to a larger whole. What if we let everyone know that each and every person is needed - poor, rich, it makes no difference?!  We will be walking more neighborhoods that “have” but given our experience Sunday, we tend to believe that people’s service motives are as powerful as their profit motives. Perhaps not an idea whose time has come? Mike and I have great faith in our fellow men and women regardless of background, ethnicity, gender, income levels, or any other distinction or preference. People want to belong and as we know, there is a part of belonging that causes people to want to invest and to be a co-creator and co-owner of something much bigger than they are.

Mike and I see it every Sunday – WOW!! Our Belonging Revolution is so powerful, not because of Mike and me, but because people are hungry; they are ready; they really want to connect in many ways; and they are seeing the possibilities of acceptance, empathy and love play out in many manifestations!  Perhaps spirituality is just merely seeing our fellow men and women as our brothers and sisters. I know these walks are spiritual for me. And I know our walks and our Belonging Revolution would never have happened if going on 16 months ago because of Mike Butlers Compassion, caring and vision that we all no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender or status in life “Belong” that we all are “Accepted” started our walks and our “Belonging Revolution” 

Thank you God for the honor and privilege to have Mike Butler ask me to be his accompanying colleague on our walks and in our Belonging Revolution and to meet people I have never met before and to offer them to part of our Belonging Revolution!!