I’m the Executive Director of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ but in a recent article in the Walrus magazine, I was given a simpler moniker: “the de facto head of the Doukhobors.” 

     I’ve started this site in order to explore conflict. Here in British Columbia we have a great opportunity to become experts in understanding the inner workings of the conflict that emerges all around the globe. We have a microcosm of the world in our multicultural towns and cities and if we try to understand our fellow man and woman, we can become a prototype for communities of the future. 

     This requires seeing things in different ways. Over the past four months I’ve written a story everyday from the point of view of someone else as an attempt at putting myself in someone else’s shoes. For today, I’ve written the following fable in the typical architecture of a “joke” but it diverges and becomes an exploration into something else. In my humble opinion that’s what we all need a little more of: divergence of opinion while maintaining a respect for others points of view.

   And some chuckles along the way.

 

A FABLE FOUND IN THE CONFUSION OF A JOKE

     Unbeknownst to one another, Jesus, Muhammad and the Buddha were waiting at JFK to board a transatlantic flight to Europe, a six-hour trip, for vacations to get away from it all. Jesus was sitting closest to the large windows by the boarding gate. He was squeezed in at both sides by a family from New Jersey that – through their sizes and volumes and attitudes- often absorbed strangers into their scrum. The two youngest Roundsters, seated to the right of Jesus, were once again fighting.

    “Where’s the video camera?”

    “What camera?”

     “The reality t.v. camera that’s following you. Weirdo of One. Isn’t that your show?” 

      “Shut up.”

     “Weirdo of One.”

      “Shut up.”

      “Weirdo of One.”

      “Shut up.”

      Their father – to the left of Jesus – was analyzing the back of his boarding pass, going through the fine print, trying to find loopholes. “There are special categories of people that can board first. War vets, etc. They don’t announce anything but you can go first anyway.”

     “You’re not a war vet.”

     “For example.”

     “Weirdo of One.”

     “Shut up.”

    “Weirdo of One.”

     “Shut up.”

     “Would you kids pipe down. I can’t hear myself think over here.” 

      Jesus held the magazine – Fly Fishing America – closer to his face. He tried to remember being on the cross with the two men on either side of him. That was easy, this is now. Which one went up to heaven? Right or left? The one with the bigger beard and the breath that you could’ve cut with a knife. 

      Just then Jesus felt a tap on his knee. He lowered the magazine to witness a young boy with a brace on his left leg. The blond-haired boy looked up to Christ in supplication. 

     Finally.

     “Are you Jesus ?” the boy asked.

    “Yes, my son.”

    “Will you heal my Gameboy? It won’t work.” The blond boy held it up in the cupped palms of his hands.

     Christ sighed. “I don’t do electronics.”

     The boy ran away crying. “Jesus won’t fix my Gameboy.”

     “Weirdo of One.”

     “Shut up.”

     “Weirdo of One.”

     “Shut up.”

     Unbeknownst to Jesus, the Buddha and Muhammad were undergoing similar ordeals two and three rows behind him.

 

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