Our Shared Experience

We tend to relate only to those who have similar shared experiences to our own - the culture within which we were born and raised. We fear the unknown including people from other communities who may speak, look, dress, think and act differently than us. What seems uncertain is whether the Internet, ease of travel and immigration is making us more culturally homogeneous or more suspicious and fearful of those who have had a different experience than us. 

It takes effort to understand others who are not like us. The path of least resistance is to simply remain within the shelter of our immediate shared experience. If you have never experienced civil unrest, war, political corruption, lack of infrastructure or famine, it is difficult to relate to those who have. It is easier to be fearful than empathetic - easier to ignore than engage.

We all share the experience of living on this planet as it spins through the cosmos. When can we recognize that as our shared experience?

 

Image Source: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/565/earth-the-blue-marble

1 comment

  • Krys

    Krys St. Marys

    We are born and we die and in between we marry (or not) have children (or not) and want so much for our children (or others) to be happy and healthy and, if not wealthy, at least safe. We try to be kind and generous and helpful though sometimes we fail. I have found over and over that even smiling at family, friends and complete strangers can be a gift in itself, doubly so if they smile back. But then I feel safe. And live in a country where it is still safe (usually) for me to smile and attract someone's attention. It is so sad that half the population of the world has to think twice about that. And that they have in common, too. That too much of the other half of the world's population still needs to assert itself by victimizing other men, women, children and animals is something that will always stand in the way of real peace.

    We are born and we die and in between we marry (or not) have children (or not) and want so much for our children (or others) to be happy and healthy and, if not wealthy, at least safe. We try to be kind and generous and helpful though sometimes we fail. I have found over and over that even smiling at family, friends and complete strangers can be a gift in itself, doubly so if they smile back. But then I feel safe. And live in a country where it is still safe (usually) for me to smile and attract someone's attention. It is so sad that half the population of the world has to think twice about that. And that they have in common, too. That too much of the other half of the world's population still needs to assert itself by victimizing other men, women, children and animals is something that will always stand in the way of real peace.

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