Friends Like These

Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.

For Christians and Jews, these are holy days and as each day of the week passed, I was reminded just how diverse a country we have become.

A friend begged off dinner at mid-week after realizing she had to work late because she was the only person in the office not celebrating Passover. Payback, really. Her colleagues had worked Christmas, but I know she wouldn't think of it that way. Just a nice thing to do for friends.

A Muslim friend called my wife to wish us a happy Easter. A small gesture, but appreciated. After all, he was calling about our holiday, not his, but it made me remember -- as the Muslims would say -- that we are all people of the Book whose religious traditions evolve from the same God.

A friend who has a mixed marriage told me about spending the middle of the week teaching her kids to make Matzo balls and most of yesterday dying Easter eggs.

One day the children will sort out the details. For now they are learning the traditions of two great religions. Another friend who is not so sure of God still hides eggs for her kids who are teenagers. Not such a bad thing either.

Down through the ages, people have argued over the differences and details of relgion. How much better it is when we respect the beliefs of others, remember the common values that all religions share and try to emulate those values in our daily lives.

In ways large and small, my friends reminded me of that this week. I'm glad I have friends like that.

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By Bob Schieffer