“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
I feel hopeful…a part of me is afraid to admit that…maybe I’m crazy. In a time where so many terrible and challenging things are illuminated in the media, how can I feel hopeful? One reason is that I am acutely aware that the media does not show all of the good happening in the world and that the good far outweighs the bad.
For today, my truth is that this is a critical period for us to unite, see our commonality and activate goodwill and compassion. The process and the communication required to get us there is not something for which I have all of the answers, but I believe it starts with me and it starts with you. So I guess I’m searching for hope and clarity and I would guess you might be too.
I have my unique perspective on my life only.
I know what it feels like to be discriminated against and afraid of losing my profession because of who I am; what it’s like to go to foreign countries and be afraid because of what my service uniform represented to others; and I know what it’s like to be glared at with disgust for what I represent to another person.
I also know how good it feels to give and receive love, to connect with others and find parts of me in them, to walk with and experience nature with my dog, to work with many who have overcome extraordinary challenges, and to keep learning about this fascinating life that I share with all of you. It’s my perspective only…what it’s like to live my life.
How do we find the perspective of others?
By empathizing or placing ourselves in their shoes to connect to and feel how it would feel for us. And just so you know, not one person has lived this life without struggle and pain. Empathy for the other is so valuable to expand our consciousness and open our hearts. When we only see people for the color of their skin, the uniform that they wear, the person that they love, the political affiliation they choose, or their religious or spiritual views,
WE DON’T SEE THEM.
We only see what they represent to us. We don’t see their heart, their joys, the love they share with their families, the good they do in the world. If we can open our hearts and connect to the other person’s joys, fears, sorrows, or dreams, we just might find that they are the same as ours. My goal is to stand in their shoes…to understand my version of their challenges…to not be afraid of connection and discussion…to truly listen. I’m not always great at it but it’s my goal.
You and I have a wonderful opportunity here…an opportunity to connect to the perspective of someone who lives a different experience, which is everyone who isn’t you. It’s an opportunity to be a connection activist…to treat others with the compassion, dignity, respect and empathy that you would like to be treated with. You and I also have an opportunity to look the other way, blame the other side, and keep living in fear of someone who doesn’t walk your exact path, which is everyone who isn’t you.
It’s a choice.
My hope is that we all will continue to manifest peace, love and respect for each other. I will never understand your pain, as it is uniquely yours. I connect to my version of your pain, as I have definitely experienced pain and know what my pain feels like. Respecting others and creating curiosity and compassion for their unique journey is liberating…it’s necessary…it’s peace.
I feel hopeful…maybe I’m crazy…I just see this time period as such an opportunity to bring the light in to eclipse the dark. I think it’s a time where many of us are thinking, “enough is enough.” I sure am.
p.s. For more on connection, check out my blog: We Seek Connection…Yet We Fear Connection