Updated: Aug 12, 2021
@MML4UR3N #4W4K3 #87R #PLANELESSONS
I was on a flight returning from Hawaii last year—first time in Hawaii—first cruise—first time my family had been on vacation together in years. I was on this amazing high. Warm and fuzzy with the spirit of #aloha. A couple of months previous to the trip, I'd started writing a kind of in-my-average-American-opinion commentary on the state of the world. I wasn't entirely certain where it was headed. I kept bumping up against the issue of perspective.
In writer speak, #P0V is the point of view of the character you are experiencing a story through. The point of #P0V is to put the reader in the shoes of the main character so that you understand who they are and what makes them tick. The issue with #P0V is we are most often trapped in our own to the degree that we don’t even see that it’s a trap. We cling to it like a security blanket, peering out through the microscopic holes, imagining we see clearly.
I was seated next to a couple who'd been kind enough to give me the window, so I could take pictures on the flight out. #aloha They were a bit of a dichotomy, heavily tattooed, toting more heavily notated bibles. It wasn't long before we struck up a conversation. They spent the majority of their time working with at risk youth, providing them with basic care, structure, guidance, connection, faith and community. They were committed to creating their same transformation in others.
My #P0V is worlds away. I was raised Catholic in an LDS state, and born with a Buddhist, New Age spirit. I believe that every journey, however unique, has a single destination point from which we cannot hide, run or stray. The woman in particular felt like a kindred spirit. I expressed my agreement with their message in my language.
Yet, we continually circled back to the same sticking point. We could not agree on one thing. Jesus.
To be saved, I had to say Jesus is the way and the light. We could not agree that my saying love, or any concept of love in the divine sense, was the same. Two of the most accepting concepts on earth butting heads over language. The way we think is the way it really is—the way others think is somehow mistaken. It is the intention of the language within the context of the speaker where meaning is created. You say po-ta-to, I say po-tah-to. Nothing is off.
This conversation stuck with me. It illuminated the Catch-22 in my own judgment—the prison of our individual belief systems. The individual nature of discovery, spirituality—of life—cannot be stepped over. Yet, we often do skip right over it. To varying degrees, what isn't us is suspect. We are free to judge because, let's face it, we all think we know better. But don't we all reserve the right to make that judgment for ourselves?
How can we both reserve the right to choose for ourselves, while simultaneously deciding it is our right to choose for others?
This paradox may be the root of the Root Conversation. #R007X When you begin to look at the ways we operate, both individually and as a society, what you see is that nothing is working. All woven together, it occurs as too tangled to unravel. But it could be argued that everything we see has been created from the trap of our own perspective.
We believe we are committed to an ideal, when in reality, we are mostly concerned with appearing to be right. While we are all busy being right, nothing changes. We are against each other, instead of for what we believe. Inside of this, we play out the same cycles over and over again. We will never escape the illusion of we-are-right and they-are-wrong until we are willing to see the destruction spawning from it.