Sunday, August 21, 2005

Alone and Connected

People today have become very polarized in their thinking. In the United States the us versus them has changed. It is no longer us, the people of a particular color, but us, the people of the blue state or red state versus them, the people of the other state. We can’t see how we are different, as in the color of our skin, so we must be on guard all the time because we might be different and we might be talking to a “them’ that we would rather not speak with.

It’s a sad place to be as this type of thinking binds us to our islands where we can't reach out and where we trust no one because they may not be like us. Yet we are all exactly a like. We are all on our islands about various issues. These are the ery things which make us feel different from others. We think we are alone, yet everyone has those times, those issues, those moments that come to feel that this is what life is about, where we are alone. So although we feel alone, our very aloneness connects us to others.

It is like the tao. The tao is made up of yin and yang, yet there is never really a moment when it is all yin or all yang, for at the moments of most yang and most yin, there is always a bit of the opposite polarity involved. There is always yin within yang and yang within yin. In our aloneness, there is a connection with others. In our most connected moments, there are bits of aloneness.

If we can share common ground and our common humanity, we can come together to exist more peacefully. If we can remember that each of us has our moments of aloneness and our own fears that prey upon our minds that haunt us in those moments, perhaps we can come together in greater peace.

How can we create peace? I like the bumper stickers that suggest practicing random acts of kindness. Perhaps we can promote just a little peace by allowing one driver who wants to cut us off, to get in front of us without annoyance. Maybe we can allow that person turning left to do so before we inch up in traffic. These are small acts, but if we can act on them with mercy and compassion, then we lay a foundation for greater acts of kindness and compassion and bring us closer to real peace, within and without ourselves.


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