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.