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Kobe Bryant and Impeachment: Oneness or Division - Which?


Last week, two significant events took up a lot of space in the American consciousness: the impeachment trial of the President of the United States, and the jarring news that Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna (aka Gigi) and seven other marvelous beings died in a helicopter crash. While essentially the two events have nothing in common, what struck me was the contrasting energies that surrounded each of them.

Although the outcome of the Senate Impeachment Trial was a foregone conclusion before it started, what I found interesting was how the adherents on each side of the issue had such divergent, polarizing, and wildly contrasting perspectives. It seemed like the camps were on two different planets passing each other by as they traveled through the universe. The depth of the divide and the intensity of contrasting views were vast. The polarization around this political event is a reflection of what is arguably the most divisive era in modern American history. There is alienation among ethnicities and gender, economic and social class, between urban and rural, religions, and even sports team fandom.

Then, amid all the political discordance, the news of the sudden death of Kobe Bryant (aka “Mamba”) dropped in the middle of it all and caught a lot of people’s attention. Many came together as a result of Kobe's death. This coming together was in contrast to the discordant energy surrounding the impeachment process. This harmonious coming together to grieve and celebrate Kobe Bryant's life was not just limited to sports fans. It touched and reached non-sports fans, and people who only had a passing knowledge of who this young man was. There was something about Kobe Bryant that deeply touched a cross-section of folks. It didn't matter what political party, race, religion, gender, or social class they were, or whether they lived in the urban or rural part of the country. It didn't matter whether they rooted for or against "Mamba" before he retired from basketball. People were similarly affected.

Despite having flaws like all human beings, as a basketball player Kobe represented a form of brilliance we all have in some capacity or another. His death reminded us that this life is fragile, and we need to treat it as the unique gift that it is. His love for his family and the individual attention he gave his daughters, including Gigi (who he mentored to help become a great basketball player in her own right) must live on in each of us.

Somehow, someway, a diverse group of human/spiritual beings found something they all have in common. They all found something special in Kobe Bryant. When we search for our commonalities more than our differences, we will end our divisiveness and live out our Oneness.


Peace and Blessings,


James

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