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$1.7 million

Number of elective plastic surgeries in the U.S. in 2016, of which more than 200,000 were nose jobs. The plastic surgery business is an interesting one with a fascinating gender gap: 75 percent of the people who got those rhinoplasties were women, but 85 percent of board certified plastic surgeons are men. [Racked]

That statistic tells us a great deal about our country. The vanity. The pride. Almost two million dollars spent on changing something about the body to be more acceptable, more “loved”, more something. We wonder why hatred and bigotry and terror exist and the answer is often as close as the nose on our face.  We are an inwardly focused people.  We are caught up in “us” and how we feel, how we look, how we are perceived and how we are judged.  We worry about those things while assessing how we see others, perceive others and judge others for their actions, thoughts, or lack thereof…at least in our own minds.

We assemble in teams, in jobs, in churches and find the people most like us to be around and spend time with.  It’s easier.  It’s more comfortable.  We don’t work to get to know others and we sure avoid the difficult questions that might put us in uncomfortable territory.  Instead, we label other groups,

If we hope to overcome hate, racism, and our own caste system, we are going to have to change our focus from inward to outward.  We are going to have to learn to see people with openness, with fresh eyes and without our own baggage heaped on top of them.  We have to learn to see ourselves and others with a new set of eyes, clear and unburdened by our own experience, fears and false beliefs.

Change starts with the person in the mirror.

Grace and peace.