It takes a lot of looking into the heart of the other person in order to understand how alike we are. Rather than be put off by how different we are, how can we learn to feel more connected because of our similarities?
We are all one
A human is a human regardless of his or her size, shape, color, beliefs, accent, personal choices, spiritual practices or beliefs. That’s really all that matters. We are all made of the same stuff. We are all expressions of the same Great Mystery. Start there.
We can learn from our diversity
There are lovely customs and ceremonies and celebrations that what each culture offers. Take what resonates and add it to your own spiritual practice and leave behind anything that does not resonate.
Accept the uniqueness of different versions of life. Each generation has their own take on what they have been taught. I’m 84 and have been influenced by the civil rights movement, the women’s liberation movement and men landing on the moon. There are ideas and beliefs I was taught as a child that no longer apply. Age alone can set you apart.
Children today have been born with a much greater capacity for technology. It’s demanding their attention. They will be affected by it in ways we have yet to uncover.
It’s not wrong to be old. It’s not wrong to be drawn to the technical. It’s just different. A different calling. A different approach. And probably a different outcome.
You way is not right for everyone
I’ve been a vegan for four years and a vegetarian for 40. We are a small part of the population. That doesn’t make us bad or stupid or undesirable. It simply means we have made a choice that resonates with us and that’s different from the majority of the population. I don’t try to talk anyone else into my lifestyle. I simply live it and exemplify it.
I’ve been intellectually curious all my life. Only a small percentage of people are. That doesn’t make us right, or smarter, it just makes us different. Each of us is honoring our own being-ness. That’s a very good thing. We get to honor and respect and appreciate our diversity.
Allow your being-ness to attract
What I can do is live my truth and let it draw to it the people who feel the same way. In my case, I have to go online to find those people and they are usually a lot younger than I am. The more deeply you become involved in a concept or idea, the fewer people there are to talk with about it. You may have to go searching for like-minded people.
Don’t preach. Don’t enroll. Simply be.
Be an example of the idea you embrace. For instance, my enthusiasm is contagious. It helps people take a deeper look at what I’m sharing. My clarity of explanation helps people examine an idea from a different direction. What conclusions they draw and what they do with it are totally their own to do. I’m just being me.
What is your line in the sand?
I walk away from anger. I walk away form hatred. I walk away from judgmentalness. People with that energy are not people I want to interact with. And I watch in dismay as some people try to force other people to do it their way.
Take the actions you need to take in your own life and leave others to make their own decisions. You do not need to approve or believe in what others do. You can draw your own line in the sand.
You can protect yourself by walking away from a situation, by sending your healing energy into a tense situation and if appropriate and the other person is receptive, have a conversation that allows you to explore each other’s understanding, beliefs, fears, and viewpoints.
Look for the beauty in others
Take what you need and adapt it to your own beliefs. For instance, I’ve taken one course on shamanism and listened to 14 people speak on the topic. I have learned about the rituals and beliefs held by centuries of indigenous people about the earth energy. I learned, I took what resonated with me and my current life focus. My purpose was to feel more deeply my connection with nature. And now I do. I am free to take what I need and want and resonate with and be grateful that someone is preserving all that earth wisdom.
I’m grateful for the people who are using group energy to help bring peace to the planet and I’ve enthusiastically joined group meditations for peace. I can choose the methods that resonate with me and simply be grateful that so many people are looking within themselves for ways they can encourage and maintain peace.
I’m grateful for the people who create restaurants that specialize in their native food, otherwise there are eating experiences I would never have. When people bring their unique cultural viewpoint into a situation, there’s learning available for everyone.
How do I change my communication in order to work with this person from another community, from another country? What is their belief system that I need to know about in order to not unconsciously offend them? Honor each person’s cultural background and belief system. Look for our one-ness.
Eliminate your judgmentalness
I don’t like killing animals and I have relatives that hunt. It is so ingrained in them that all I can do is avoid conversations about hunting.
I don’t have the same beliefs about the aging process as anyone else in my senior community. As a metaphysician, I have chosen to look for examples of life and living in people who are much younger than I am.
I’m teaching myself not to say judgmental or critical things about others, so I carefully avoid people who do. They, of course, can do what they want; but I choose not to be around that negative and judgmental energy.
Where else do I need to eliminate my own judgmental-ness? Being judgmental can sneak up on you, so keep a look out for those moments when you move into looking at the negative instead of the positive.
What do you have in common?
You may have to look closely for what you have in common, other than being part of the same web of life. How are you alike? What are your shared attitudes and expectations? What are your common goals? Look for how the other person or people contribute to the higher good. And look at how you do.
We are all one. We are interpretations of the same humanness We are all united in the web of life.
Look for what we have in common, and build on that.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
I Am You
We Are Part of a Larger Spiritual Order
The Core Value of Inclusion
How To keep Negativity Out of Your Life
Everyone Walks the Same Path
How Labels Dehumanize Us
How to Use our Interconnection to Heal the World