Incident #1: We were discussing the problem of war and long-term enmities between peoples at the dinner table and I asked Oliver, "What do you think is the best way for people to deal with their enemies?" He thought for a minute and answered, "Make them into friends." From the mouths of babes. Wow. I was so proud of him... and I had a sudden epiphany that my 8-year-old son's solution was not naive but wise. Surely the difference in perspectives that leads to conflict in the world pales in comparison to the commonality in human beings' most important and cherished goals, such as joy & connection, freedom from want & oppression, & that sort of thing!
Incident #2: I came across the professional output of a guy I knew in high school... had a crush on... and was crushed by. As that long-forgotten memory came back I noticed myself still feeling vaguely resentful at the thought of it. Yes, I realized how ridiculous I was being. It was decades ago! I've been on the other side of that dynamic plenty of times since then! I have no idea what was going on for him at the time, or what has happened to him since! Yet, though I realized all this, on another level I still felt a tiny bit like an insecure, crushed teenager at the thought of him. So I did what I have been doing a lot of ever since I took a seminar 2 years ago that suggested total forgiveness and acceptance as the key to stress reduction: reached out, with curiosity and transparency. And guess what? He responded in the most gracious & gratifying way possible! My take-away: Oliver is right. Those we perceive as enemies are usually potential friends,
So: WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you agree that we humans are all in this together, or at least more so than not? Why or why not?