Last week my two-year-old son played in a small pool of water surrounded by a patch of flowers behind our home. Abruptly, his play space was encroached upon by a handful of wasps. My immediate reaction was to hurry him to shelter, separating him from the potential threat. However, observing that our new neighbors did not bother him, I allowed him to continue to play, coexisting blissfully with the insects.

I realized I was observing a metaphor for life, namely that fear breeds conflict, whereas understanding promotes peace. I understood that the wasps meant no harm and were only interested in going about their business. I believe that it is a natural tendency to demonize that which one does not understand. In my life I have met people from different cultures, countries, religions, language backgrounds and orientation, and what I continually find is that our similarities far outnumber our differences.

Brian King

Mesa, Arizona