These days so many of us have our sights on what needs to happen to “heal the world” so that humanity can continue to live on it in peace. In deciding on how to move forward, I have been noticing gobs of major influencers stepping out of the woodwork, eager to share their vision of what we need to do, as a human race, to move forward.
It’s rather exciting, honestly. The Pope just did a TED talk, and Bill Nye has yet another show catered to educating adults about the wonders of science…
I don’t watch much “tv” (or whatever the kids are calling it these days). But when I do, I love to “get my nerd on”. So there I was, sitting in bed about to go to sleep when my wife and I decided to put on the new Bill Nye show. We fired it up. We giggled at the humor aimed to target those in our age range. Eventually, however, he went on to blast alternative healing therapies and flat-out made fun of sound therapy. Now, I can’t say that I know anything about sound therapy, but I do know that using Netflix as a platform to ridicule an alternative point of view is not going to help our human cause in the name of whateveritis that we believe in.
Humans probably differ from other animals in the sense that we want to leave a legacy. We want to know that we have done our part to move humanity closer to “the ultimate” (whatever that may be). Regardless of how we feel about one another’s beliefs, we all want to believe that humans will, inevitably, win out in the end. We are a self-aware species designed to feel emotion, as well as to act on those emotions with great skill. If we are able to recognize this, we will realize that we are all on the same team.
But here is the issue…we are at war with one another’s beliefs. This will get us nowhere. Humanity needs to heal. If we want to continue living on this planet with one another, we need to open ourselves up to the possibilities and perspectives that others can teach us. Doctors need to embrace the beliefs of alternative healers, just like alternative healers need to embrace the work doctors do. Scientists and skeptics need to embrace the beliefs of the devoted believers (whatever religion or deity they believe in). Believers of all backgrounds need to show mutual respect to one another, and no, not “when the other does it first”. The fact is, we, as humans, need to change. Change comes from within. This can’t happen in a vacuum. In order to learn, we must remain “open”. It’s time for us to recognize that instead of seeing differences as threats to our beliefs, it is possible that our lives can be enriched by them.
We are at a pivotal time in our human existence where it is more important than ever to get our messages out there and influence anybody and everybody that is willing to accept them. Through the power of technology, we have the ability to reach masses. It’s important to remember that technology is a tool. Lately, we have been inundated with opinions and “news” stories that saturate the technological landscape, and this leads our logical minds to question what in the hell we’re supposed to believe in. There once was a time we weren’t force-fed each individual’s thoughts through a social media funnel that algorithmically delivered “posts” onto our “walls” that validated our already established beliefs.
Harmony is not impossible. In fact, it is closer than we think. We just need to remain open. It is possible for us to use the technology that we have to peer into the lives of others. This is a blessing. We need to work smarter with this technology. It is a tool. The smartest thing that we can do is use it to understand the way that others think, feel, and perceive the world around them. We need to do this to be affected by their perceptions. To STRETCH our ways of thinking and believing. When we do this, we are exercising one of the sweetest gifts we have been given as human beings: The gift of understanding.
We need to remain open to other’s ideas and points of view. Blasting one another will do nothing to heal the wounds of fellow humans. Our world is hurting, but each and every one of us plays a role in healing it. In order to do that, we must first heal ourselves. Pointing fingers won’t do this for us. We do this through challenging our own beliefs.
In short, this is my challenge to you. Seek out a point of view that differs greatly from your own. Sit with it for awhile. Imagine that the belief is one of your own, and try it on for a day or two. Walk around in those “shoes”. No need to analyze it or cross-reference it. This is simply an exercise in understanding other humans. If we do this, the breadth of understanding that we gain from it has the potential to peel away layers of confusion, angst, and prejudice. This is a loving way to exercise opening up that organ that has been placed deep in each and every one of our chests.
Choose love and openness today and every day. Oh, and live, laugh, love, and learn.