I asked our readers this question on our main Facebook page.
In today’s world, it has become easy to pick a side—to feel hopelessly crushed under heavy weight of our cultural, political, social, intellectual, and economical divide.
The list of the the things we should educate ourselves about and advocate for seems endless, and in this day and age of misinformation and social media, it is challenging to distinguish truths from lies.
But if the events of the past two years have taught us one thing, it’s how fragile this human life, of which we have a small window of opportunity to make a significant contribution while we’re still alive, actually is.
Life is fragile and full of suffering and surprises. But it is also precious and meaningful and purposeful, if we want it to be. It is both. There probably isn’t a single person on earth who hasn’t experienced loss or dis-ease in any way, form, or shape over the past year—whether it be the loss of a job, livelihood, community, one’s health, or a loved one (a pet or a person).
Life is exceptionally challenging by itself. There’s no need to further complicate things by bickering with each other. Yet, in this crucial time in history—when our own health, economy, healthcare system, human rights, and democracy are being challenged, instead of trying to bridge the divide by doing the right thing of coming together to have meaningful, mindful, and intellectually-informed discussions and lay our defenses down, we are choosing to walk away from each other.
And after spending almost two years in what felt like an on-and-off lockdown, while being fed by incessant, 24-hour fear and misinformation through our screens, it is no wonder that compassion and empathy are declining.
We are actively choosing, every day, to widen the gap in the divide that’s already existed for years on end now.
Prompted by the heaviness I have felt while reading the daily, counterintuitive arguments online (perks of working for mindful media), I did a little experiment to see if, putting our differences aside, we still shared a thing or two in common.
The responses were heartwarming. And it’s what I needed to read to restore my faith in the few members of our human race.
Between a shape-shifting virus, climate change, economic crisis, government corruption, gun shooting, addiction and violence, rising mental health and suicide crisis, and the loss of morals and ethics within modern society, it can feel like a lot to even pick one cause to care about, let alone advocate for.
But if history has taught us one thing, it would be that we’ve always been better at problem-solving when we’re united by a great, common mission. From The Spanish Flu to the two major wars to the Great Depression to creating every single human rights mandate to the feminism movement, two heads have always been better than one.
It reminds me of a beautiful quote that I love by Margaret Mead, which I find myself circling back to when I lose my last strand of hope in humanity:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
I hope these responses from our readers warm your heart as you take a deep breath and dive into the New Year:
“Love of music, a sense of humor, and a sense of adventure.” ~ Jason
“We are all born naked.” ~ Trevor
“Pain, the need and desire to be loved and understood, and the colour of blood being red.” ~ Jose
“Birth, life, death.” ~ Dragana
“A heartbeat, need for contact, and desire to belong. ~ Lisa
“The need for connection, to be of service, and to love.” ~ Allison
“Same moon , same sun, same earth.” ~ Anneliese
“Shame, loneliness, grief.” ~ Cherie
“We are humans. We have minds. We have the capacity for compassion.” ~ Robin
And a few funny ones:
“We’re all annoyed the same.” ~ Antonia
“Life, death, taxes.” ~ Crystal
“We are all sick of the government.” ~ Sam
And if you’d like to share your perspective on what you believe brings us together as the wonderful, crazy, messy human bunch that we are, leave a mindful comment.
May you have a joyful, mindful New Year!