“Everything is part of everything. Pass the soup.” – Katie Waitman, The Merro Tree
I believe in connections, in the links between things – nouns, especially. Take any person, place, or thing, and the connections to any other person, place, or thing can be discovered if one is inclined to look. Of course, many of us are not, as is evidenced by events currently playing out all over the world. We live on a small planet, really – an island home surrounded by the vastness of the universe – and yet we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Lest this sound too terribly depressing, it gets worse: how many times each day do you look at the people you interact with each day and think about your similarities as opposed to your differences? Do you look at the person you sit next to at work and think about how they enjoy crème brûlée as much as you, or do you focus on the fact that they clear their throat every other sentence? Do you notice that the people around you on the highway also have a crappy commute, or are you too busy noticing that they cut you off? Do you remember that there are people just like you who cannot have the same things you do because they look differently, or have a different job, or went to a different school, or practice a different religion?
I don’t mean to scold most of you, because you realize that focusing on differences rather than similarities is alienating and yet it is what nearly every piece of society is organized to do. You know something has to change for the bullshit that is our separation from one another to cease…but pinpointing it isn’t easy, and after all, you’re just one person, right? Right?
And here I am, not wanting to be preachy but ending up there anyway because I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off that there are people out there who are hungry, who don’t have shelter, who can’t get an education, who have to be afraid of law enforcement. I’m pissed off that there are other people out there who justify these things when there is no justification. I’m pissed off that I feel like I shouldn’t have a dog in this fight because of my privilege…but I can’t just sit and say nothing. I’m pissed off that I feel like a bad ally because I don’t know what to do to fix things except beat my head against everyone around me until they get it.
My religious work is full of practices that honor connections, and I believe in them, and that we’re all Divine…and if we’re all Divine then there’s no fucking excuse for treating human beings as anything other than human beings.
End of story.