"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thoughts on Differences

Creator, breath and essence of the universe,
one does not need a way, or The Way,
to you because you are already as near
to us as our breath, you are right here, now,
washing through, about, around, within
everything, always and forever.
(I know this is anathema to many.)

That newly named space between the parts
of atoms is you, connecting all of us
through our constantly shared breaths,
through the stirrings of our hearts.
Not a thing, not a person, not anything
we can understand but something we
can connect with, if we let ourselves go
and fall free, arms wide, minds open.
                  *  *  *
Outcast, shunned, the receiver of sighs,
sideways glances and shaken heads,
this is where I find myself more and more
often, now that I have taken this to heart.
We are all family, we are all part of each other
and can connect each to each if we could
only stop building walls that separate,
that divide, that focus on differences
instead of the life that binds us together.
                  *  *  *

Us and them, you and me, dualism spells
disaster for everyone because it leads to
comparison, competition and complaint,
to angry words and clenched fists.
The horrible turning of the back.
Look around, look at how everything
in nature lives together, thrives together,
depends upon each other for survival.
                       *  *  *

We should take a lesson from the earth

and stop throwing each other to the wolves
and then wondering why we are so alone
and in such a turmoil of stress and frustration.
Open our eyes, open our hearts and souls,
let us all be different yet precious and beloved.
As in nature, ultimately it will be our
diversity that strengthens and saves us.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

The thing that I have learned over the past several years is that everyone does the best they can with the resources - mental as well as physical - that they have.

If they make poor choices, it's because they don't have the mental resources needed to better evaluate their options. The adult who, in certain circumstances, acts almost like a 5-year-old, or a teenager, is using the only strategy they have for dealing with that situation. Learning radically new behaviors as an adult is not easy. It requires a certain amount of ego death, a loosening of the definition of self, to consider ways of thought that may be radically different from one's norm.

I remind myself of this every day I deal with someone frustrating. Every day I deal with someone who is lacking in basic scientific knowledge, for example (yes, the scientists do change what they think is the most correct model of reality, and sometimes they change that changes often - that's how science works!). And every day I deal with someone who polarizes against their own countrymen just because they have different ideas on how the place could be run. It's enough to make me want to move to Canada or New Zealand.

While I can calmly rationalize away a person's behavior as a product of their upbringing, there's obviously a threshold beyond which I will not tolerate that behavior. Crime, for one. But the vitriol that's being slung about really bothers me, because I'm afraid it's only going to get worse until the people joking about shooting the opposition actually start doing so. The world doesn't need this much hate.