I AM

August 15, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

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“We’re one but we’re not the same

We get to carry each other

Carry each other

One”

 

One, U2

 

Think about it… billions of people inhabit this planet. We pass each other on the street. We sit next to each other at our favorite coffee shops. We stand next to each other as we wait in line at store.

 

And yet, we’re so disconnected.

 

Somewhere along the course of evolution, mankind took a wrong turn. We opted to distance ourselves from our neighbors. We became a species of self-absorption. We became thinkers instead of doers.

 

And we lost ourselves in the process.

 

Was there ever a golden age when mankind lived knowing that deep down we are all connected? Was there an age when our minds weren’t such powerful vehicles of self-centeredness?

 

The mind is the most powerful force you will ever encounter. That’s a good thing. Or maybe not.

 

Today, anxiety and depression are on the rise. There’s been a huge increase in the number of people (worldwide) reporting symptoms of these disorders. And you’ve got to ask yourself… why?

 

One of the reasons may be that we’re all so caught up in our own thoughts. We can’t seem to get out of our heads. Every day, there’s worry and pressure. It’s driven us apart. Would our ancestors ever be able to grasp how dramatically our sense of interconnectedness has diminished?

 

The world can be a scary place. Read the headlines.

 

Our fears today are climate change. Discrimination. A crumbling economy. Radicalism. And a global pandemic.

 

Wouldn’t now be the time to embrace one another? To unite instead of divide?

 

I’ve been interested in spirituality for a while now. And in Buddhism, as well as 20th century psychology, there’s the concept of a default mode. It’s what’s known as the ego – our sense of self.

 

It’s where we form our identities, where we construct the self-narratives that we so firmly believe… and it’s defensive. It’s all about “I.” Challenge it, and you’ll be sorry.

 

Every morning we check out Facebook feeds. We scan through the slew of comments left on our posts. Some of them not-so friendly. Others… outright awful. It’s a powerful example of how we’ve lost our sense of “one” with each other.

 

What’s interesting about the ego, is that there are ways to lessen its influence. Meditation, for example, is an incredibly effective tool for diminishing our ego’s power. There are other ways… such as practicing acts of compassion, volunteering, doing good deeds, etc.

 

And here we are, early 2020. And already we’ve seen challenges. We’ve seen division. Travel bans. Entire communities disbanding. Uncooperative leaderships.

 

It’s important to recognize that while we are all unique, we are all also the same. We have fears, dreams, and feelings. We want to feel loved. And I truly believe that we all want connectedness. We’re social creatures, it’s in our genes.

 

So today, if only to get a feel for that oneness, be kind. Be compassionate. Listen.

 

And love.

 

See what happens… 2020 might not turn out so bad after all.

 


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