I interrupt this dark historic period of anger and division to bring you a TRUE story of compassion and kindness; Upon coming home this evening anticipating having to shoveling (yet again) my driveway & the city plow dump, I found my driveway AND the city dump completely clear. It took me a few minutes of standing at the end of my driveway to comprehend that one of my neighbors unbeknownst to me, with no expectations or need for celebration, had taken the time and energy to shovel my driveway for me. There were no conditional motives, nor is there anyone to thank – since I have no idea who actually did it…yet there it was, snow all gone.
This right here is what it’s all about. This is who we are and who we can be, if we stop trying to prove our points by continuing to blame each other for our current circumstances and misfortunes. This is being human at its greatest.
This person does not know me. They don’t care if I’m ”alt-right” or “alt-left”, if I support this freedom convoy or not, or whether I may be arrested or have my assets frozen by the Canadian Government for possibly donating to this protest. They don’t care about my beliefs, my mistakes, my failures, or what my opinions are, only that it would be nice to show compassion to another human being because life is already hard enough.
While I know it feels impossible to set aside our differences and silence the noise, what if we all put our anger, fear and judgements on mute and just listened to each other? What might we actually HEAR or FEEL? The more we continue to label and blame – the more we engage in this ideological warfare of tearing the “others” apart and blaming “them” for everything that is wrong in our lives and in this world, the greater our divide becomes and the more we dehumanize each other. And once that happens, there truly is no coming back.
What’s happening in Ottawa, Canada (and around many other parts of the world) is not new, we’ve danced this dance and heard this song before. In fact, we’ve seen this discourse, this division, this ostracizing and this dehumanization FAR TOO MANY TIMES!! After the trucks have left, after the “bad guys” are punished, after everything is “back to normal”, understand that your hateful words, your venomous accusations, your bi-partisan labeling, your posts about “freedumb fighters” or “sheeples”, your personal perpetuation of this great divide, will remain in the hearts and the minds of those who have witnessed, felt and read them.
History needs us to change. Humanity needs us to change. But when will we learn that hatred, anger and blame is not the answer?? When will we learn to put down our defenses and connect with the truth that in the end, we all want the same thing; to feel seen, to feel heard, to feel valued, and to feel like we matter.
While our beliefs and values may differ, as may our fear and feelings about the mandates and the virus; our ability to show compassion and kindness shouldn’t. Ever. That is who we are, at our core. Stripped of our conditions, our traumas, our angers and our need for retribution; this is WHO WE ARE as HUMANS.
Thank you to my humble neighbour for reminding US of this truth, not through their words, but through their actions of what it looks like to show compassion and kindness to another human being.
This is the bridge we all need to find ourselves. To heal our pain. To unify our differences.
This is the healing power of humanity.