Saturday, March 19, 2016

Reclaiming Our Humanity...

This is an amazing story I read last year and, even more remarkably, the man who originally posted the 'so-called' humorous photo posted an eloquent and sincere apology to Balpreet and the Sikhs for his insensitivity.

The original story:

The apology:

EDB (Reddit poster and subsequent apologizer) notes that he sought internet kudos for the prank and that it was thoughtless and insensitive.

I realized as I was reading these stories that so much of our lives are lived online these days- it's an instant way to bridge the gap in miles and social structure- and it allows us a more immediate ( albeit sometimes edited) glimpse into each others' day-to-day lives.

For me personally, Facebook has been a remarkable tool to remain in touch with friends, family and 'framily' as we roam.

As happy as I am with my current lifestyle, the road (for me) is not always conducive to fresh human connection- and connections to other member of my species are nourishing to my soul and an integral part of my continued joy and happiness.

Because I am still tethered to a laptop for several hours each day, I am not as free to visit and explore as I would be if I was on vacation or retired, as many others are out here on the road.

I've stated before that I have each foot placed firmly in two vastly different worlds and my fellow occupants in each world find me a bit of an anomaly. I don't fit 'neatly' into a compartment and all humans (myself included) strive to make sense of the world by seeking to understand how each of us 'fits' into the grand scheme of things.

Balpreet, more noticeably than myself, challenges our social understanding- and her reason for doing so is beautiful, profound and elegant.
I admire her greatly, even as I am personally uncomfortable with her appearance- since my first western response is to 'fix' or hide what's an obviously simple hormonal imbalance.

In this day of internet trolling, flouncing and anonymous judgement- its so easy to lose our sense of humanity. We don't often  get the whole picture and we are constantly bombarded by external stimulus, so we touch even the stories that resonate with us very briefly before moving on.  

To be shown gentle humanity is a rare gift in this age and I am grateful for the reminders of how kind we can (and should) be to one another in this uncertain and scary (albeit glorious) world. To rise above the rhetoric and bare ones' soul is a rare talent.

Let's create joy and beauty. Unlike energy, which can neither be created or destroyed, happiness is not finite. There is not a quota that can be reached, upon which, no more happiness can be made.

Truly joyful people know this and understand that the law of averages works in their favor. They know that the more joy you create- the more joy is re-created as it moves forward- growing larger and infecting more people as it goes, until it eventually circles back around and touches you again. This is my kindergarten simile for Karma but it is a valid concept.

Here is a terrific example:  Have you eve been in a bad mood or even a 'blah' mood where you were just going through the motions of your day and then you saw a stranger smile at you, or a child run past with such  innocent/joyous laughter that you couldn't help but smile, too? Did someone 'pay it forward' for you and you felt an immediate desire to do the same?

Don't get me wrong- I have days (blessedly few and far between) where no amount of joy will erase my curmudgeon-ness until I am damn good and ready to be done with it.
But most of the time (since finding my sense of gratitude), a random act of kindness is enough to bouy my spirits and make me want to be a beacon of joy and happiness for my fellow humans.

Let's strive to create as much joy and happiness and peace as we can for our world. Pain and suffering won't cease to exist; society won't ever become a Utopia, but we are building a buffer against pain and sadness, loneliness and despair. We will all experience these things at some point in our lives, but creating abundant joy ensures that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. In most cases, just when we need to see it...

Peace & Love...  Jenn

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