Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stretching the Mind Opens the Heart.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life and the things I’ve witnessed, lived through, experienced and learned from. From the mundane to the monumental, they are essential memories that have become ingredients for the recipe of me – how I see the world, how I live, what I consider important and  what I consider superfluous.  From  a first kiss to a final goodbye, my experience may be different on the surface from yours, but deep down, the feelings and connections are identical.

Our humanity draws us together as a knot does a rope — with each experience being a knot that shortens even the longest distances, the farthest continents. This is how we’re connected, though we may be too busy fighting the traffic, fighting the establishment, making ends meet, or texting at a red light to consciously notice. Because, after all, the emotions felt upon the birth of a healthy child in Kenya and the birth of a healthy child in Connecticut are not different. Joy, relief, amazement, wonder......Awe.

And when the babies arrive, maybe on the same day at precisely the same hour, their lives begin in separate lands, on separate journeys toward experiences that will make them who they become. Because, no matter where we are born, we eventually grow and arrive where we are from where we’ve been. And so, it’s bewildering that we often cannot accept that others are different, even though we realize, at least intellectually, that we “get different” through a route that is completely the same.

How great would it be for people of every race and creed to honor the bond that makes us all part of the world, the universe, the human race. How magnificent would it be if the cultural issues that separate us, the disparity of wealth and knowledge, the variations of faith and belief in the Divine were all to vanish while we drink in the truth that we are together, at this time, sharing this planet as our ancestors did. That we all are born and grow and feel joy and pain and heartbreak as every one who went before us, no matter their tribe, caste or social status. This alone should bind us to each other. This alone should make us kin. 

But it never does.

What’s needed for that realization is a simple thought:  It’s by an accident of birth that you are you and I am me. And that’s precisely what makes us the same.

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