We are in this together. All of it. Wow. That’s a little frightening isn’t it. There is just one planet (until some of you go muck it up on Mars) filled with all the people, the water, the air, the land, the creatures. Just one. And we get to be here. Together.
This is all part of a series to highlight what really matters as I kick the hell out of 2016. #SuckIt2016
I have this feeling that we have allowed other people to divide us into red or blue dots. We are divided into people who care or don’t care, people who help or don’t help and people who give and people who don’t. The thing I know is that we aren’t dots or so singly defined by someone else’s ideas about us. We are complex, creative, smart, funny and we all experience joy and suffering. Every gosh darn one of us.
So what does that mean? What do we do with the idea that we are all in this together?
We aren’t separate. If just one of us is suffering we are all bearing that suffering. That’s a pretty huge concept and one that you can’t take on every moment. But it is real. Every time someone is killed, goes to bed hungry, lives in fear or just doesn’t have enough we are part of that interdependent web of suffering. Often times we think that’s “them” and not us, but take one moment and consider if that person was your child and they are no longer something outside of you. They are you. It is the same with everyone else.
Breaking it Down at a Stoplight
This is BIG picture stuff, but you can break this down to the day to day. Think about when you are at the stoplight and the person in front of you won’t move their ever loving car and the light is going to change back to red and you are still stuck. Instead of yelling at them in your head (or in your car) send them a little heart filled love. They are distracted and having a bad day. You have those, too. Cut them some slack.
Together in a Small Town
I live in a tiny mountain town filled with passionate, smart, creative people with lots of ideas and sometimes issues arise. Heck, I’m often dumbfounded at the thing that becomes the issue and the sheer energy that folks have around it. It’s great to have engaged folks. Sometimes, though, I think we all forget that we are all in this together. Things can get down right ugly at meetings, along the gossip grapevine or in the online comments. (Dude. We are going to have to talk about how online commenting has RUINED everything.) Anyway…
I can’t change how other people use their energy or share their voice. I know this, but I have seen that this idea of “together” has made me decide to just model better behavior because people deserve that kind of respect and time. And when someone says something a little “off” online or through the grapevine I’m going to cut them some slack because they just might not feel comfortable picking up the phone or confronting a person face to face. Heck, they may be having a really crappy day.
I’m also going to remember that although we might have different ideas, communication styles or capabilities mine isn’t better than theirs – it’s just different. And different is ok. If we don’t villainize people we can see them as the same as us – flawed, striving people who experience joy and suffering just like us.
There is No “Them”
This is it folks. There is no “them”. There is only us. We are in this shit together. All of it. You can push everyone away and make your ideas the best ideas, your vision the best vision – but it’s going to be really lonely out there (and you might just be wrong and need more insight, creativity and passion).
We can be different and still in it together. It is how we approach everyone and everything. I know that it is hard when someone seems totally opposite of you, believes things you think are cray cray or acts in a way that is completely counter to your sense of what is right. I get it. I’m not trying to say this idea is easy. Hell, it might be the hardest idea I know, but if we are going to evolve and move towards a better world (the one we all share) we are going to have to get this down.
Repeat after me: We are all in this together. I’m going to cut you some slack. I’m going to treat you with respect. I’m going to find a thread of commonality because I remember that you experience joy and suffering just like I do.
Whew. That is heavy. We can do this, though. We can do hard things. Yes we can!