See small truths all around us

To the editor:

In a beautiful children’s book, “Old Turtle and the Broken Truth”, author Douglas Wood (watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth) warns of the danger of an exclusive belief system that does not honor the wholeness of creation. It is an appropriate parable for our fractious times.

The broken truth is “You are loved.” It falls to earth like a meteorite and is cherished by the group of people who discover it. They encircle and enshrine it because they like to feel they are special. Unfortunately, but predictably, their embrace of this exclusionary half-truth leads to war, suffering and abuse of the planet.

One child, a little girl, is troubled by all the destruction and unhappiness she sees around her. She goes on a long search to find Old Turtle to ask him if things can change. He reassures her that things will change if and when people see the small and gentle truths all around them. He says they will know “that every person, every being, is important, and that the world was made for each of us.” Old Turtle gives the girl a small stone before she heads home.

The girl tries to explain what she has learned to her people, but they do not understand. Finally, with the help of a crow, she realizes that the stone Old Turtle gave her is the missing half of the broken truth. When she joins the two pieces together, the message reads: “You are loved, and so are they.” Of course, people reacted differently to this new, whole truth, but they eventually learned to see themselves in each other. And Old Turtle smiled.

The letters to the editor of this paper demonstrate the energy and challenge of religious pluralism. Honoring and exercising our spiritual health will help us see the goodness in each other so that we can work together for the common good.

Carolyn C. Peterson