A team of rivals

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, describes Lincoln’s ability to call forth the abilities of those who ran against him for president. He chose three of them for his cabinet: William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase and Edward Bates.

Competition is a good thing made better when it mellows into an awareness that in the most important things we are all on the same team. I see tribal strife, religious crusades, civil wars and world wars as evidence that humanity is a relatively young species, an idea that came from Teilhard.

Priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard “made a conscious decision to develop a theology using the language of science that links the cosmic, the human and the spiritual.” He believed we have a long way to go in our maturation–a concept I find deeply encouraging and hopeful.

Competition between Methodists and Baptists, between Protestants and Roman Catholics, or between Christians and Muslims sometimes obscures a deeper collegiality and unity. In the most important things, we are all on the same team–even though we may not yet know it or act like it.

Tomorrow: Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh–colleague and fellow pilgrim.

“Will Pope Francis remove the Vatican’s ‘warning’ from Teilhard de Chardin’s writings?” by Gerard O’Connell, America, November 21, 2017

2 thoughts on “A team of rivals”

  1. Getting more mellow is the best part of aging. When we studied the Hundred Years War in history, I wondered how they were able to remember all those years why they were still fighting. 🙂


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