Connection is something we all need more of in this life. When we grow together, we begin to realize that the categories of “us” and “them” are transformed into categories of people we understand and people we don’t understand. Our enemies are, often, reflections and projections of the things we don’t like about ourselves.
With this in mind, I’d like to take a look at some ways we can grow closer together.
Though we’re more virtually connected than ever, social media is often one of the most divisive technologies in people’s lives. People allow themselves to “angry-type” on their phones, troll in the comments sections, and bicker in a mocking tone far too often. In fact, your Facebook and Twitter feed is probably made up of a bunch of political disputes right now. One thing we can implement here – and it’s something we’ve heard since we were kids but is, nevertheless, a fantastic reminder – is the art of learning to take deep breaths and think before we respond. We all have opinions, and it’s important to share these. But sometimes, it’s more important for us to think if we are trying to win an argument at the expense of losing the person. Why ruin a friendship to get a point across? Be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.
There’s a difference between compassion and empathy. Empathy can sometimes be stated as “putting someone else’s emotion in your driver’s seat”. This isn’t always a good thing, as it can lead to rash and overly emotional reactions. But compassion, the ability to see someone else’s hurt and sympathize with it, is something we could all focus on more. This is one of the reasons it’s important to view, even your opponent, as someone of infinite value who is worth understanding.
We’re all cut from the same cloth, so to speak. Sometimes the worst sinners make the best saints, and we all take part in the infinite just by taking another breath. When we understand this connection – when we understand the miracle of being alive – we begin to see the whole world as part of a universal family.
Until Next Time,