Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Dr. Seuss, Social Psychology and the Body of Christ
Summer Sermon Series
As a kid, Dr. Seuss stories were some of my favorites. His playful, imaginative drawings and use of language were (and are, as a parent) irresistible. But many of his books offer important commentary on human beings and how we treat one another that children of all ages understand. Indeed, although some his stories are over 50 years old, they still feel like fresh commentary on the divisions we see in our world today!
Recently, I’ve been reading Social Psychologist Christena Cleveland’s book, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Up Apart. In it she explains the cognitive processes (the way our brains work) that both help us and work against us when it comes to how we think about others. We very naturally divide the world in Us and Them and our brains work in all kinds of ways to reinforce that. But being aware of those cognitive processes is a big help in correcting that automatic “othering.”
The processes Christena Cleveland describes are at work in many of Dr. Seuss’s stories. AND they are also implicit in Jesus’ call to us to change our hearts, minds and lives and follow him and the faith community being like the body of Christ in which everyone is necessary and valued.
Join us this summer as each Sunday we explore what a Dr. Seuss story, social psychology and scripture teach us about being humans, faithfully following in God’s way.