I saw something extraordinary in Santa Fe, New Mexico today. A dog was walking down the street and a cat was sitting on his back. On the back of the cat a mouse was sitting. If you don’t believe it, check out the photo.
It suggests a metaphor for something the world can learn about tolerance and peace during this time of so many conflicts around the world. New Mexico has three distinct cultures. American Indians were here before anyone else, with distinct religious, economic, and cultural traditions. The Spanish and Mexican cultures arrived in the 1600’s, with strong Catholic and European culture, and then the Anglo-Americans arrived in the 1800’s with yet another culture, aggressive, protestant, and hostile.
Yet, they all live together in harmony, creating a cultural mix that is interesting, colorful, and edifying to all three cultures. Like the dog, cat and mouse, they seem to be getting along just fine, and as a result all three cultures are seeing the lifestyles of their children improve with better education, economic opportunities and appreciation for tolerance and peace.
Think how much the radical fundamentalist Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and Christians could learn from the Dog, Cat and Mouse…and the people of New Mexico.
Even as I write this the newspaper carried these top headlines: ISRAEL SWEARS VIOLENT REVENGE IN PALESTINE, MORE AMERICANS KILLED IN IRAQ AS VIOLENCE INCREASES, and MUSLIMS AND HINDUS CONFLICT OVER MOSQUE IN INDIA.
Perhaps we should send them all a copy of the photo of the Dog, the Cat and the Mouse…with one word attached…PEACE.