Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Intergration of us and them
Recalling a moment in life when I was twelve years of age, I had watched a family bring a new born baby from the hospital into their home. I distinctly remember looking around me and wondering why anyone would want to bring a child into this world. The world around me seemed to be a spiralling pool of hate, chaos, greed and no improvement in sight. Not sure how long I carried that thought but at some point I realized that my thought was only a perception. The balance of life equals out all things. Now, as I have worked with many people in very difficult situations, I can see the need to have a solid outlook of being calm, peaceful and patient. The reason for this need is best understood by noticing there are seven billion different ideas about how the world should work. Basically we are all involved in an experiment of integration. Whether or not you notice, acknowledge, understand the fact that we are all in a relationship with each other, we are here at this moment. We have had many experiments that sought to integrate people into systems. Some experiments had horrible outcomes while some had excellent outcomes. These experiments come in the forms of governments, social norms, laws, cultural relativism, policies, religion, political parties, corporations, schools, etc.... At this moment of time there is one of the largest forced movements of people the world has ever seen due to the war in Syria. Some countries have experienced a 25% increase in population due to people trying to get away from the hell of war. This is a major shift in the identity or social norms of any society facing such an increase. Not only does the host country face a dramatic shift, the people who are seeking shelter also face a dramtic shift of reality, culture, identity and sense of belonging. This sense of belonging is a crucial point in terms of integration. A shift of identity is going to take place but what will that be? If no one is willing to accept the new reality on an ideological platform frustration sets in. This frustration will entrench in the minds and hearts of people. After some time the frustration will give way to violence if there is no true willingness to work on building the integration peacefully. Those last four sentences are the simplistic point form frame work of most wars/social break downs we face in the world. In simplistic reality, peace is easily described. The most difficult part is actually doing the work day in and day out with everyone you meet. Being calm, peaceful and patient takes great energy yet, having faith in a peaceful world will provide the energy. As long as you continue to be that person who acts with calm, peacful patience, you will have faith. In the end, what really matters is how each of us – the individual – understands the world, lives their life and strives to be a peaceful person. Throughout my life, as I often looked back at myself when I that twelve year old, I have learned that perceptions are smoke screens to reality. How you truly are is what matters and then understanding your impact on the larger group needs to be acknowledged to some degree as well. This is no simple statement. The complexity of life will and does wrap us up like tangled ball of string. We will be frustrated, tired and need to vent. Sometimes we fail but we also succeed in many other ways.