Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oneness...Our Collective Humanity

Last week as I ate dinner at the bar of a local restaurant, I found out the restaurant was closing. It was bustling with activity and as I asked the others why it was closing, a gentleman explained that they have only been breaking even the past few months during the economic downturn and the landlord was raising the rent. It sounded absurd to me. Rather than recognizing that raising the rent would force out the tenant/restaurant and then leave the property empty for possibly many months only to decrease in value, I wondered why the owner did not consider creating a win-win by keeping the rent at the same price for a while to weather the economic storm so as to enable both the restaurant to stay in business and the landlord to continue receiving some money and maintenance of the property.

As I sat and thought about the scenario, I thought that it was probably a rather regular occurrence. I reflected back on where in my life I have made win-lose choices when a win-win was right in front of me as another option. I also wondered how many other people have and continue to make win-lose choices. Especially with the economy in a tailspin as it is, it is our obligation to our fellow humans and our responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones that we must dig deep to find options that can help us all take steps to move forward in our collective humanity. I believe choices like these would enable us to turn things around much more quickly.

As I sat alone and people watched for the rest of the evening, I thought a lot about how different everyone in the bar was - I from them, them from me and them from each other. Yet we were all there enjoying ourselves, our food and the collective energy of the evening and the moment to celebrate a place many had been coming for years. I realized this is how it is in our lives - we are all connected and we all have a common cause, a common desire, a common thread. It is in our choice to recognize this commonality and our common humanity that we may begin to see positive transformation and change.

I started to wonder and hope that perhaps if we all could begin to see each other more and more every day for our similarities rather than our differences and if we could see ourselves in each other and feel and empathize for our common and differing experiences, that we might more regularly make win-win choices and we might actually be able to find solutions more quickly to the problems and issues our lives, our communities and our world is facing.

How might you begin to see yourself in others? How might you begin to choose win-win over win-lose in your life? Try it on for a while and see how you become the ripple that creates the change not only in your life, but the lives of those around you.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above
the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns
to the broader concerns of all humanity.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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