People that know me well (which probably isn't too many), know that I have a ‘slight’ obsession with genealogy. And so I actually stopped to ask myself why that is. Why do I feel the need to find out exactly where I’ve come from? I could just accept the fact that I’m an American. Period. But, apparently that doesn’t satisfy me.
I’ve spent hours upon hours on ancestry.com and “discovered my DNA”. But I think what I’m struggling with most is something on a much grander scale. As Americans, what binds us together? What makes us feel as one country? Surely it can’t be sports, micro-beer, Hallmark Holidays steeped in consumerism, over-the-top extroversion and crony capitalism. There has to be more.
But because we are so large (the 3rd biggest) and so diverse, a unifying factor seems hard to come by. Our diversity is what makes us rich, interesting and frankly, quite special, but there are other separating factors as well, including wealth vs. poverty, white vs. blue collar employment, and the elephant in the room – politics.
Given all of this, is it no wonder Americans feel like they are sometimes living with people from another planet? Is there anything we can all believe in? Is there any kindness left? And given the new beat of distractions – screens, screens and more screens – do we even know one another, and more importantly try to? I surely have failed at this.
Take social media. In the short-run, it is a beautiful unifier and people-finder. In the long-run, it has the potential to breed envy, hate, self-loathing, and an over-amped ‘keeping up with Jones’, making it an ugly divider. And yet, it probably isn’t going away anytime soon. We’ll see. Regardless, how on earth do we find common ground?
Well, here’s a thought. Think lavender. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but seriously, think lavender. Lavender is the color of compassion that helps us remember we are all planetary servers, here for a reason.
When we zone in on problems, and we amplify our worries and anxiety by watching snippets of one-sided news, reading headlines that are written to suck us in, and become victims of in-your-face advertising, our view of the world becomes very small. Many of us (myself included) take it to heart and lose faith, hope and joy in life. Don’t do it.
Instead, think of spreading your angel wings and flying above it all into the lavender sunrise (or sunset if you’re a night owl like me) and viewing the world from a broader angle, our purpose becoming clear. We’ve all arrived here on this planet at the same time and we’ve all come from the same place. That is our unifier. That is what will melt our worries, differences, and fears, replacing those things with a sense of purpose. We are here to care for our planet and all the creatures on it with love, compassion and kindness.
And it honestly doesn’t matter which city, state, or country you’re from, as you fly above it all, viewing the earth from afar. The colors blend together, the clouds part, the mountains and deserts become one and our existence becomes recognizable.
So next time you get stuck on the problems of the world, instead of going small, go big. Think lavender and fly above it, taking in the whole picture that often gets lost in the day-to-day grinding details. Our purpose isn’t complicated. It’s simple. Take time today to simply find it, offering yourself and those around you love and light.