Turns Out There Are a Few Things More Important Than Politics
Let’s pretend there is a Presidential election going on.
One that has polarized the country, with hateful words and actions and stress spewing from all sides of the debate.
Let’s also pretend that deciding who a person is by watching what they do and say on Facebook is like looking at a picture of someone’s toe and deciding that you know exactly what his or her whole body looks like.
In such a scenario, how is someone who truly cares about other human beings and the world and wants what he or she thinks is best for both (i.e., ALL OF US) supposed to do?
Listen, I’m no expert. And I definitely have no idea why certain things happen, but I have begun to notice something.
Have you noticed?
In the wake of absolutely horrific events such as September 11, the massacre in Paris last November and again in Nice, in Beirut, in Orlando, in Bangladesh, and on and on, there has been a common factor that is easy to ignore but can bring some measure of hope.
And that is this: in the very immediate aftermath of each of these events, political views, gender, race, sexual orientation, hair color, etc. cease to matter at all.
What we most always see in situations requiring the best of human nature is…the best of human nature. People helping people regardless of differences. Almost a merging of everyone into one spirit and body, doing what needs to be done to support life at that moment.
Reading witness and survivor accounts can bring tremendous sadness, fear, and anger.
But such accounts can also bring an overwhelming sense of love. People who may have disagreed over whose turn it was in line one minute writing down last words to share with family members the next.
What has helped me lately is paying attention to this feeling of love and connectedness and giving it space.
And then spending less time in the polarizing world of Facebook and social media and focusing instead on how I can help those around me. Through big and small acts and showing kindness to people with whom I may disagree. Which often includes myself.
I believe a lot of us are doing this without mention or conversation.
In everyday life, where we can’t hide behind a computer screen and either preach to the choir or direct harsh words at people we may or may not know, how do we deal with differences?
Because, really, truly, we are all in this together.
What if we could learn to see what needs to be done and help one another before and between the tragedies and crises?
What would the world look like then?