As I sit in my cozy home with the fireplace whirring I feel privilege, tangled with shame.
I think about the video I saw this morning of men stripped nearly naked, curled over in frightened-child’s pose, awaiting instructions for how to remain alive. The next news clip was about the growing antisemitism in this country.
As I try to understand how hate manifests, I consider trauma, training, fear, and ignorance. Here is where I realize that while hate ignites inconceivable tragedy across the world, I don’t believe most of us can comprehend it. This inability to understand hate – I wonder – is it fortifying ignorance?
If we are harshly honest, I think we can admit ignorance. We all carry some ignorance when it comes to empathizing with the journey of others. Even the consciously self-aware, perhaps cognizant of the results born of their own journey, often forget that we cannot know the effects derived from each person’s unique compilation of experiences. We don’t know what others were taught, how they were nurtured, what traumas they endured, or how religion or politics may have been dogmatically inflicted into their lives. And still, we judge and assume the intent of others’ choices and opinions.
As it is woven into the interactions of daily life, this inability to relate to others is interfering with our potential for intimate connection and peace. Intimate connection and peace make a breeding ground for oxytocin – a sustainable molecule responsible for feelings of safety, love, and belonging. With a shift in perspective, we can relate to others by exploring what makes us each unique.
With unfiltered reflection, let’s ask ourselves –
- Do we see socioeconomic status as a friendship determinant?
- Have we assumed there is nothing to learn from those less educated or with different political views?
Do we ever let race, language barriers, gender preference, sexual orientation, or neurodiversity disqualify people from a deep relationship with us?
- During the holiday season, will we exclude those who celebrate differently?
Rather than avoidance or awkward discomfort, imagine celebrating the masterpiece that can only be painted through our differences.
When we elevate relationships with trust and respect, we create a foundation for peace. It is in the seeking that we can better care for each other. This begins with courage and curiosity. When we are met with diversity, be it religion, culture, politics, preferences, or privilege, we need not retreat.
Today’s Talk to the Brain™ Tip is to
Ask Compassionate Questions.
- How can I honor your journey?
- How can I respect your views?
- How can I make you feel at ease?
When we ask without bias, we build trust, we learn respect, and we contribute to peace on earth.
With love and cheers,