July 28, 2016

If We have No Peace, it is Because We have Forgotten that we Belong to Each Other.

hanging peace sign

It’s all beginning to feel a bit much, isn’t it?

Democracy seems to be undermined at every turn. For the most part, we’re distracted, ignorant, arrogant, fearful, misinformed and apathetic.

I’ll admit, I’m more than a little frightened. If a wildcard like Donald Trump takes the presidential chair in the U.S., especially in the wake of Brexit, I feel it could spell the end of any semblance of international cohesion and economic stability. Where will the rest of the world stand on the things he stands for? And us? Will we strive to unite or divide? Which colours will we fly?

I feel, if he comes into power, everything will change. Our global political economy will go into a complete re-shuffle.

I used to laugh at this. Now it frightens me, more than anything:

will rogers quote

It’s not funny anymore.

It would be bad enough if our environment, our home, weren’t in jeopardy. Thanks to an overwhelming amount of misinformation and anti-intellectualism, climate change denialism still carries weight. We’re not doing enough to stem the issue. With the impact of floods, droughts and social exodus, I’m afraid that what we’ve seen with Brexit, small scale civil strife, and the surge of refugees from all around the world, are only labour pains of things to come.

Weather patterns continue to become more and more unusual, impacting everyone across the globe. We can’t be fighting with each other now! There isn’t time!

Where are our heads? Isn’t it obvious? There are too many people on Earth to ignore those who aren’t like us. This is everybody’s problem. We need to work together.

isaac asimov quote

“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

With great wisdom, Albert Einstein said “we cannot solve our problems using the same thinking we used to create them.”

I’d love us to sink our teeth into the things that unite us, guide us, heal us, and encourage us to lead by example, without negating the real parts of ourselves and one another, which need addressing, nurturing and witnessing.

How do I suggest we go about this?

With stories that unify. Soft skills. Communication. Active steps to reach outside of our frustration, and separation on a broad scale. Engaging in dialogue on archetypal narratives (such as The Hero’s Journey and Walking Through the Shadow Lands), and how to go about protecting and restoring the things which are most important to us: real human connection, empathy, nature and wilderness, health and well-being. Humour, perhaps—a sense of lightness. Wisdom, knowledge, intelligence, hope. Playfulness.

A sense of home among one another.

When articulated honestly, words can communicate the lightest touch, the deepest yearning, the furthest reaches of the imagination and human experience—woven into anecdote and archetype to guide us. Especially in tough times.

Let’s think about the soft things. The humble things. The little things.

I want to stand on a bright beach with you. Leaning in, with our fingers interlaced. Palms facing one another, face to face. I lean inward, bending your wrists back ever so lightly as I steal a kiss from your lips. There you stand, with all your walls down. Surrendering to my touch. My gaze. I’ll hold a space for you. This is how I want to witness your shining vulnerability. This is how I want to know you. I want to look into your eyes and let you know that I recognize each flashing feeling that goes by. I want to slip into your heart and bring you sanctuary. Like you do, for me.

I want to be a voice of support to those who are unfairly vilified.

winston churchill quote
This is a new type of courage we all need to don, within ourselves. Tout suite.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Theresa

I am your keeper. You, mine.

We all rely on the same air to breathe. We live on the same turf, demarcated by flimsy bits of wood, hardened earth and invisible lines. We are nourished by a history of ideas, education and ethics. The lines between yours and mine are blurred by history. The food we need grows from one soil: Earth. The potable water we all need has been in a closed cycle since the beginning of time. What was once yours is now mine, and it keeps on going around. These endless rivers that run through our blood keep us both from drying up. I breathe you out, you breathe me in.

When you’re upset, it affects me. When you’re elated, it lifts me up. We are connected in an abstract matrix of emotion. We raise the field together; we bring it down. In this regard, we are all empaths. Very few are spared. Your fear and mine are, in many ways, intertwined.

We feel it, and because we do, it affects our world, our concepts of “progress,” our socio-political economy. And, thanks to our fear of lack and sense of ownership, it affects the climate on this small blue dot. This, in turn, affects everything. The glaring elephant in the room.

To remedy this, I think you and I need to reach out and find the places in our souls, where we are the same person. To put our fingers in the holes of one another’s pain and travails and say, “I feel you.” Revel not in ego, but in resonance.

My joy is your joy. Your suffering is my suffering. So peace is good for both of us…yeah?

Our world is a bit mad, right now. But I want to sit—breathe—in absolute presence, together. I want to see all the things that caused us to distrust one another melt away.

I want you to know you are not alone in your fears. But we can’t hide behind them. I know it takes time. It’s taking me time, too. But, to tell the truth, I sense that the time to turn this Titanic is running out.

I want you to know that everything you strive for, everything you ache for, everything you long for, I feel it too. Our human experience is rich and diverse and yet universal. How is it that we feel so separate? So different? So lost?

I want us to reach into one another. To pull hard on our reserves of hope, strength and resilience. I want to rest my hands on yours and witness your tiredness, your restlessness, your duress. I want to afford you the time to rest. You know? We’re always so—


I want to sit by a glowing fire with you and share stories that will make us laugh. Make us cry. A balm which restores our souls and brings clarity and unity to our purpose.

In my ideal world, we would all wake up and get our priorities straight.

I am weary of each day I pass without bearing witness. I am tired of feeling your struggles, but holding my tongue. I am weary of watching souls marching bravely on in almost uniformly quiet desperation. Of feeling there’s nothing I can do. Especially when I feel the possibility of a kind new world, keenly, within me. Couldn’t it be so easy?

It doesn’t matter in whose name we preach. What languages we speak, the colour of our skin or our place of origin. We’ve got bigger things to face—can we please stop fighting among each other?

I want to see a deep love for our bodies, our minds, our environment, surge within us. I want to share stories that lead us deep into our humanity. Highlight both our strength and our fragility. I want to take part and bear witness to our generation standing up with integrity. For this earth, and all the generations to come.

Fear is naught but a weed, easy enough to pull from the earth at our feet.


Author: Catherine Simmons

Images: David Goehring/Flickr; Courtesy of Author

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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