Every time I go to the answer man at the garden center, I realize that much of my gardening work relies on the experience of others. And these others have relied on the knowledge of those before them. Best practices and assistance are passed down from generation to generation.
I do realize that there can also be negative streams of information and behavior that travels from one generation to the other. We have learned that importing Kudzu was not a very good idea, after all. We are beginning to get it at the local gardening level that there is such a thing as too much fertilizer and pesticides. Behaviors and beliefs about how we view the world are also passed down from generation to generation. Our lives are woven into the fabric of others.
There usually comes a time when we are called to sort through some of the stuff of previous generations. It is like emptying out grandparents’ or parents’ homes and storage sheds. There is good stuff to be found along with useless and outdated items. Broken tools and old fertilizers are probably not good for much.
I believe the recent experiences in our society call us to examine our beliefs and behaviors. What unquestioned assumptions have we inherited that color the way we see the world? Jesus called us to love our neighbor, and when asked about who is our neighbor, he told a parable about an “other” acting as our neighbor.