I shared a laugh With a neighbor A thousand miles away I chatted amicably With a friend Across the sea I wrote a silly verse For a special one Who lives around the world The boundaries State, national, cultural and religious Melt away Leaving only our shared humanity
I saw a sign Of hate In my town I heard exclusion From someone In my state I read about calls to violence To all who are different From my fellow countrymen How can those so close to me Be so far apart?
I shared a laugh With friends Near and far I hope tomorrow It won’t be a cry
Does it make me bigger To make you smaller? Does it make me good To paint you bad? Does it cleanse my blood To spill so much of yours? Does it make me right To say you’re always wrong?
We stand side by side As equals We’re only humans With both good and bad Our hearts pump A shared blood The greatest right Is to hold out our hand to those who do wrong
Would it make me smaller To pull you to my level? Would it make me bad To see the good in you? Would it taint my blood To admit that we are brothers? Would it make me wrong To admit that you are right?
I bet there is at least one thing I can do better than you! No, I’m not bragging, just stating a simple fact. OK, sure, we can go the other way too – there is at least one thing you can do better than me.
These “things” that we do better than each other might be essential or frivolous, smart or stupid, silly or serious, work related or related to play or not related to anything at all. The “thing” might be what defines one of us or something we never, ever think about. It might be important or nothing. Maybe I can play piano better than you but you draw better. Maybe you draw better, play piano and trumpet better, write better stories, write better computer programs, are better at setting up servers, kayak better, bike better, etc., but there is at least one thing I do better, even if it’s sit with good posture. Continue reading →
I think most of us feel we are good people. We go about our lives and we try to do what we feel is the right thing. We feel for those who have been hurt. We feel moral outrage at those who have wronged others. But for the most part we just go along with our lives, doing our daily chores, seeing our friends, shopping, going to work. Very ordinary.
And then sometimes something extra ordinary happens. Occasionally it is good. Sometimes it is bad. All too often it is horrid. It may not affect us directly, but we still feel it. We are caught up. We feel sad. We feel mad. We are shocked and repulsed. Sympathy and compassion come up. Hatred and anger come up.
Acts of terror are designed to do more than just cause fear. They are designed to do more than terrorize. There is intention. Sometimes it is a warning. Sometimes it is revenge. Often the intention is more subtle. Often the psychological reasons are far beyond the simple ones the media often reports. Continue reading →
Hello. Come on in out of the strong, cold north-wind and grab a cup of strong French Roast or Tea. Yeah, my normal greeting is a little muted today, but you know why.
Usually I let you guess where I am by the picture. Well, I am only in Paris in my thoughts right now. My body is in New Hampshire.
This was a week like any other. Work. Play. Reading. Writing. Cold. Rain. But now that it is over, I don’t want to talk about it. I want to talk about something else. Oh, we can take time to chat about small things later if you want. Perhaps I’ll do a repeat tomorrow that is a little lighter.
I ask for tales of exotic lands You tell a story of my home town I question you about foreign people You speak of my friends and neighbors I want to know the jungle creature You talk about my backyard deer I ask about your distant culture You discuss my daily routine I call you my friend You tell me I’m your brother I try to see the differences You show me we’re the same I look for a mystery in your face And see mine reflected back
Like an astronaut A separate satellite Orbiting the world Just a thin sheet Between me And the void A speck of dust A dot Sterile Alone Lost But you see through that, don’t you? You see the green forest of friends Many lives interconnected So you can’t tell were one begins and one ends Each an organic part of the whole
I like to say that sentence. It has a lot of meaning. We’re all just human. I’ve had a handful of posts where this phrase was implied throughout. Usually I had the more positive meanings in mind.
I think the first meaning I usually talk about is our similarities. There is no such thing as race; it is a social and cultural construct. If space aliens came down, they’d talk about the dominant species of the planet coming in a variety of colors, but for the most part all being very similar. They would not speak of race, because race doesn’t exist, because we’re all just humans.
I’ve also implied that phrase when I’ve talked about people in different social positions. From the top scientist and politicians, the CEOs of the largest corporations down to the poorest of the poor, the least educated and the least powerful, we are the same. We have the same emotions, the same basic dreams. If those space aliens took samples of people from the top of the social pyramid and the bottom, they’d find only minuscule differences. Genetically we are very, very similar. We are all just humans.