My goal when I began writing here was to grow both my personal understanding of humanity and that of anyone who might stop by to read a post or two. In the years since I think I’ve succeeded a bit, at least in some small part, in the latter and I know I’ve succeeded in the former.
Developing a better ability to understand began as a personal journey before I began writing about it, but the true nature of what I was realizing on that journey wasn’t entirely clear at first. To understand someone else, even just in part, places your perspective in a very different place than isolating your thoughts to just one view or idea. Humanity has blossomed in so many ways and into so many cultures. We are full of rich experiences and heritage. We are all connected. Opening yourself to the wide definition of human identity enriches your life and broadens your perspective from one of national or racial pride to one of human pride.
Along my journey I discovered the teachings of Ram Dass, who is known as a wealth of many gems of revelation and knowledge. One such gem is the phrase “We’re all just walking each other home.” Just the sentence by itself connects on a deep, personal level. It tickles the mind and reminds you of the simplicity of life.
In an interview with Read The Spirit, Ram Dass explains the simple yet powerful phrase:
“In ‘walking each other home’, I’m talking about how we as individuals—individual persons or individual countries with all of the separation that we experience—through moving toward inner consciousness, can become one. That’s a shift in consciousness. If we can find a way to walk each other home, we could reach a point where there is no more conflict between egos and nations.”
Becoming one. Still seems a bit corny to me. Like a fluffy, hippie, new age pipe dream. At first glance it really is a pipe dream. An unachievable aspiration that neglects the complexity of the world. We are all so different, how could we possibly be one?
That is the misunderstanding. That to be one, we must not be different.
Humans will always be different. We will always create pockets of culture within culture and unique groups within those small pockets. The key to becoming one with each other is not to unify under one culture, but to embrace and accept the differences that exist between us. Your neighbor across the world may live their day to day life differently than you, but they are still your neighbor. Maybe they pray differently than you, look differently than you do, and eat food that seems so foreign you get slightly nauseous looking at it.
We need those differences. We need the expression that erupts from all corners of our species so we can share them with each other and build a better world. Becoming one with each other is knowing that we are all working towards the same goal. We are all moving along similar paths to the same goal of personal fulfillment and happiness.
Just people being people.
We have reached a point in our civilization where isolationism, nationalism, racism, or theological oppression is no longer justifiable. It wasn’t in the past either, but unless someone has Doc Brown’s phone number (and is really convincing) I don’t think we can do much for our previous transgressions except to avoid repeating them. There was a time in our history when isolating one village or tribe from another was integral to survival. Millennia ago, primitive humans were closer to primal animals that needed to stick together to avoid attack, disease, or death brought on by another group of humans. But we are past this. We have the capacity to address issues in a calmer manner. We don’t need to view a different tribe, country, religion, or race as an immediate threat to our well being. Evil has a tendency to crop up in every culture; no one is immune. By working together and accepting each other we can unite against any individual or group that causes harm instead of trying to build walls or crawl back into the corner of our respective countries.
After all, we’re all just walking each other home.