Relationships are everything.
Every living being exists as part of a network or system. When we look at something or someone on their own, we are examining something only in isolation, and we necessarily miss essential information and understanding because we are discounting context, that is to say, the whole picture. The whole picture is often difficult to take in. It’s natural to avert our gaze when it is difficult to watch something, to leave when we are uncomfortable or scared. We all do this.
The world is quickly changing. The fresh water sources, the polar ice caps, air quality, forests, oceans, the biosphere, the atmosphere, the geosphere and cryosphere, it’s all changing, in part because of us. Us. Humanity. The changes among humans are staggering as well. And while there are tremendous feats of advancement regularly, we are dogged by the same destructive issues we have been for ages and these divisions are only intensifying. At least where I am from, the level of political polarity is increasing. Instead of practicing tolerance and extending invitations to collaborate or discuss, relationships are being summarily severed as people retreat to fortify their own ends.
But here’s the thing: this isn’t how nature works. It just isn’t. Nothing and no one exist in isolation. Each time we act, it affects so many other parts of the living system we are part of. When we do harm, we harm all, when we aspire to help, we help all life. There is no escaping this, this interconnectedness is a fact of nature.
At some point, humanity must come to realize sides don’t really matter. What matters is that we prioritize mending relationships, that we reach out to our adversaries tirelessly until they agree to give us an audience. And when we go to meet, we go with open hearts and a knowing that there is value to many perspectives. We must practice listening and sharing and kindness. All of the things we push on our children and seem to forget about later in life, those are the things we must cultivate. When our hearts are angry and defensive and scared, we must work to soften ourselves.
There is too much hurt on this planet, too much garbage of every kind. It is time to look into ourselves and tend to what is missing. That’s our first work. It isn’t something you can buy. What we need to grow in ourselves is an ability to connect to what is actually happening, to reach out to others with love (regardless of if we agree) and take care of this place we call home.
We need to prioritize and remember how to love, how to listen and learn to respect each other. It’s the only way. This isn’t just for us, it is so we can ensure we are able to continue to live long and healthy and to teach future generations that we were able to overcome enormous odds to do so, providing them with a workable script.
What is the alternative?
Please, the next time you are confronted by the urge to retreat into separation, take a moment to consider if you have the energy to do something to foster connection of any type, to create relationship where previously there wasn’t one. This life is all about relationships. Love.