For every act full of violence and vitriol, there are orders of magnitude more that offer kindness, hope and unconditional love.
The recent events can sometimes make us feel like the wrong side is winning and our world is spinning into a whirlwind of chaos, destruction and general apathy. But these are the times when it becomes our duty to exercise our love with abandon, go out of our way to be kind to strangers, and most importantly to remember that what we have in common with people around the world far outweighs our perceived differences.
If we truly realized that we’re all products of our environments and that, if we ourselves had been born to the families of the people we consider different and raised in the circumstances these people were, chances are we might have turned out exactly like the very people we dislike so much; if we just realized this, we’d show so much more compassion to strangers.
If only we sat down to think about how much we have in common with every soul that walks this planet, we’d never feel the need to be violent towards them.
Our innate ability to go to great lengths to protect those we love,
Our deep-seated desires to feel like we belong,
Our need to be understood, loved and accepted by our fellow humans for our true selves,
… are all fundamental feelings shared by every human on this earth, spanning across the spectrums of race, gender, sexual orientations, religions, locations, economic statuses, and whether we’re #TeamTaylor or #TeamKardashian.
On the inside, we’re running the same Operating System, with just a few tweaks on top.
If it is differences we seek, even two twins raised by the same parents can find thousands of things to argue about, and come out feeling that they have nothing in common.
Yet if we set out to find our similarities, any two people in the world, no matter how superficially separated by gender, location, economic status, and cultural tastes they may be… Any two of these people can find important things that make them alike and serve as a springboard to a new, beautiful friendship.
The only difference is what we choose to look for, when we meet someone new.
And once we make a decision to seek out similarities, it becomes so easy to love this “stranger” in front of us. Or at the very least, treat them with kindness and respect.
If you think about it, the acts of violence which we’ve seen this month, performed because of a few perceived differences, make no sense logically.
If these perpetrators were born in the families of the victims who’s lives they so mercilessly took, and if they’d grown up surrounded by the friends their victims had, with the cultural influences their victims had, chances are the perpetrators of these crimes would have turned out very similar to the people they massacred in the name of perceived differences. Once we understand this, any act of mass violence seems downright silly and unnecessary, even from the perpetrator’s point of view.
We must therefore try to restructure our society to seek out our similarities rather than dismiss the people we meet simply because they seem to be different on the surface.
Jon Stewart spoke about this recently at The Warrior Games:
“This has been a difficult week for what I like to call “Team Civilization.”
The horrors that we’ve witnessed can make you feel as though
you’ve lost faith in our ability to persevere through those times …
So when I say I am in need of support, there is almost nothing in the world
that gives me more support than witnessing the tenacity and the resilience
and the perseverance of, especially, our wounded warriors in their endeavors.
They’re the ones that make me feel like, ‘Oh, right, we’re gonna be okay.’
The depth and strength of those who’s names you may never know,
is the depth and strength of this country ..
The forces of hate and ignorance and fear have no idea what they’re up against.”
We need to join forces together for #TeamCivilization.
More than ever more, we need more love, less hate;
More than ever more, we need more compassion, less fear.
And it starts with the simple act of us making a conscious choice to seek out the things that bring us together, eschewing those that set us apart, when we come across someone new.
Love & Hugs,
A Beautiful Alexandr Milov Sculpture From Burning Man 2015, Entitled “Love”