"Why are we so afraid to commit ourselves to loving each other?" Leo Buscaglia once asked. He goes on to observe that "our growing inability to relate one with another is reaching frightening proportions." "Isn't it time," he asks, "that we forgot our petty egos, give up our fear of appearing sentimental or naive and come together in our universal need, one for the other? Why is it so difficult for us to embrace each other fearlessly and with passion and say, "Human being, take my hand"?
That we are each and often so easily hurt and done in by one another makes it incumbent upon us to love and to tend towards the border of doable kindness each day. What good is it if we spend the little time that we have here on this wild, aching earth, for hurt and self-before-all-else and empty? Do you know it took thousands of years to cultivate kindness? We worked for that, we built that, each of us, generation by generation. Much of what came before us was dark and wrong, not just in families, but towns, nations, the whole earth. We know the song of history is filled with blood. Enough blood. Enough.
Little by little dark and wrong were faced-up with light and love and the right thing, which continuously changes and asks us to examine our attitude, our faith towards the world. The right thing today is bound to become the wrong thing tomorrow. We must pay attention to the look and feel of pain in the other. That is our work, no matter our profession. If someone says that you hurt them, that, my friends, is a plea of humanity. And are we not?
Most difficulties are more easily solved than we'll allow ourselves to admit. Who doesn't like to nurse their wounds and resentments, it feels good even if it hurts like hell. Imagine two people saying sorry to each other at the same time, an overlapping, spontaneous intention to heal rather than to wound each other. It has happened. It happens everyday. The thing about invulnerability is that ultimately it's a lie, a dark fairy tale; immaculate conception of self. We all need each other. And we are also very afraid of each other, often for good reason. So, what do we do with that? I find questions help a lot in times like these. Rather than assert "this is so" asking "is it, though?" What more might there be, might we be?
Trauma does many things to us. It wrecks our faith, our trust in the other. It forces us to be on high alert daily. For some, trauma makes them harder, tougher, meaner, cynical. For others, softer, more gentle, more kind. Or a bit of both. A border between the two runs through most of us. The thing is; we don't know that we have a choice until we do. Once we know our choice, we have more areas to work with in getting along with one another. Who can say what form that will take until it happens? We learn in motion.
Luciano De Crescenzo writes that 'We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.' Descartes was wrong, I and though, therefore we are, the remedy that he missed would have to wait a couple hundred years.
There's something about this time of year that temporarily transforms us into what is truly meant to be our every day struggle. Yes, it is a struggle to be loving, inviting, warm and kind to one another. Has there ever been anything in human history that came to good without struggle? What are we so afraid of? Questions are good companions to have. Whatever the answer is, it is probably really simple and really doable, and why wouldn't that scare the hell out of us? More questions.
I would like to thank each and every one of our beautiful (kind) contributors for ruminating and wrestling with hard questions of kindness and sensitivity. "What is damaged in relationship must, after all, be healed in relationship," writes Annie Rogers. And in community, too. For my part, keeping this small, but steady fire, warm in the field, and the soup on, is my little bit (my-our peace offering) toward the greater good. Good is great, friends. May I call you friend? I feel like we know each other. Owe each other. A bit of kindness. A bit of "mercy now."
Mercy. Why not now?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.