Now that Leanne is retired we don’t start every morning with a panicky scramble to make sure she makes the number 38 bus by 8:00. Instead we go for a walk and talk for an hour or so. Her retirement is working out well for me so far!
The other day walking around Rocky Mountain Lake we saw these ducks hanging out together and it caught our attention. It looks like there were at least three different species of ducks together even taking into account that male and female ducks of the same species often look very different.
“Birds of feather flock together” is an adage that was very common when I grew up but I have been realizing more lately that when I use some phrases of speech like that, my millennial friends often don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.
At the risk of insulting both my older and younger readers, “Birds of a feather flock together” was a way of saying that people usually stick to their own kind. A 2004 Gallup poll found that about 60% of Country music listeners identify as conservative and 10% as liberal. Those same numbers in reverse apply to TED talk listeners. Both Country Music and TED talks have about 30% listenership that identifies as “moderate.”
So there are Country Music Birds of a Feather and TED talks Birds of a Feather and so on. When one group flocks together with more members of its kind of feathers, they find that they have a lot more values, interests and experiences in common so they tend to stick together. It’s another way of saying that human beings are deeply entrenched in tribal thinking. The tribe both creates a place to belong and helps protect its members against members of other tribes.
There’s an old Bedouin proverb:
“Me against my brother,
My brother and me against our cousin,
My brother, cousin and me against the stranger.”
When we saw three different species of ducks calmly slicing through the water in the early morning it was a harbinger of hope for me. If ducks can do it, people can do it! And people who identify as followers of Christ MUST do it!
Colossians 3:11 “There is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”