Digging Below the Surface

Perception is reality.   We’ve all heard that.   You see two smiling faces in a photo, arms looped around each other, and you assume happy times.   Conversely, you see someone with an ACCESS card and you think drug addled bum. Our perception focuses on the shallow visual and so often times mistakes happiness for deep sadness or laziness or weakness for a struggle that we would never be able to fight.  We judge by what we see. And then we’re left looking like asses.

That’s why we need to take a minute to know the backstory.

By taking the time to understand a situation rather than quickly jumping to incorrect conclusions, we could actually become human again.   Today we live for soundbites and conflict.   We associate with parties or beliefs or paradigms that if we dug beneath the rhetoric or the ‘first impression’ we could discover that we had absolutely nothing in common with these affiliations. We would be forced to actually learn the facts, study both sides and form an independent thought. Instead, like a lamb, we allow ourselves to be herded into one corral or the other, hoping to become a sweater and not a stew.

We need to consider humanity.

We need to be more conscious of our country by starting with ourselves. Don’t sell yourself short by just following party lines or cries from a pulpit.   Make it your mission to learn for yourself. Read. Don’t watch.   Study history, not conjecture. Love first.   Hate only as a last resort. Let the lines blur until you see the person across the isle from you as human. No labels, no assumptions. Simply human.

And the beauty of it all is that you have to start small.   No, no, no….don’t you go out saving the world just yet.   Start with your neighbors…no better yet; start with yourself.   Look in the mirror and lose all your labels.   Overweight.   Underachiever. Unaccomplished.   Dependent. See yourself for the miracle you are.   Then look at your family and shred the labels. There’s no black sheep, or cry baby, or smart one. There are just humans with hopes and insecurities who are judging themselves enough for you both.   Take your judgment back. Allow them, and yourself, to be who they are. What a gift you would give; the gift of acceptance.

The start of a new week seems like as good as time as any to look beyond the superficial and get your hands dirty with humankind. Let’s try to know someone and resist the label.   Let’s try and be our own leaders and not dependent upon those who need the unquestioning masses for their own justifications.   And let knowledge and compassion be your divining rod when looking upon our fellow man.

We need a depth of understanding of the human plight.   And we need it now.

Peace, love and knowledge my friends! Namaste!


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