I am attempting to multi-task as I prepare my Neti pot (it is allergy season, after all), start the coffee brewing, dish up parrot and turtle breakfast and scope out today’s to-do list.
I wish that last was shorter.
I wish it included a beach trip and an adult beverage with a colorful little umbrella instead of a straw.
Instead, I head for my email inbox, with its usual assortment of work assignments, bill pay reminders, spam and other breaking news I really wish could wait.
I feel sad.
What is missing from my life right now is that shared sense of being human….of being fundamentally more alike than different.
I am grieving because I was born white and don’t understand. I am grieving because I was born straight and don’t understand. I am grieving because I was born female and don’t understand. I am grieving because I was born in America and don’t understand. I am grieving because I was born homo sapiens and don’t understand.
I am grieving because I have somehow become part of the problem and I still don’t understand.
It would seem there is a lot of work to be done, yet again, in our broken and bleeding world, with its millennia of divisiveness and power struggles and perpetual inequity we can all so easily relate to yet cannot seem to come together to share and thus collectively ease and heal from.
By that I mean, this will be my 50th year living here on this small round blue planet.
And over the last 49 and a half years to date, I have yet to run into anyone who doesn’t have at least one story of being discriminated against, bullied, threatened, misunderstood, misrepresented, profiled, singled out, left out, targeted, terrified.
We each – and all – get it, at least from the inside looking out. It has happened to us at different times, in different places and for different reasons.
This means there is a potential activist living right inside each one of us.
Then why, oh why, is it so difficult to just stop it. Now. Finally. Once and for all. Together.
Calm. So I can remember I help no one by letting the stress get the better of me.
Clear. So I can remember my intention is to give something good of myself.
Connected. So I can remember we are more alike than different, underneath.
Kind. So I can be inspired by my hero, the Dalai Lama, who once said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Speaking of quotes, a dear friend recently reminded me of a Rachel Naomi Remen quote I have come to love:
We are all here for a single purpose: to grow in wisdom and learn to love better.
This reminds me of even another favorite quote I don’t know the author of:
The greatest gift you can give the world is a happy you.
When it comes to the tensions and violence happening in the world around me right now, I feel utterly powerless to effect any kind of positive change.
But this, at least, I can do.
I can remain calm, clear, connected, and above all, kind – kind towards myself and kind to all.
I can endeavor to increase in wisdom and learn to love myself and others better.
And in these ways, I can become happier.
And then, when I am a happier me, I will be able to give the world my greatest gift.
And maybe then I will be able to help.
With great respect and love,