Thursday, January 7, 2010
"Lefties, Righties and Everything in Between"
“The way to build a system that works is to build it from very simple systems that work.”
I’ve been engaging myself with people who are, by example, encouraging me to question everything I have ever thought, believed and heralded as truth.
I’m exhausted. I feel as if I am a newborn child, listening, seeing and touching for the first time. Political viewpoints I had cast aside as counterproductive, misleading and in opposition to my philosophical beliefs are now, through these infant eyes of mine, revealing new and fresh sounds, images and touch-points. Religious credos I had previously considered limiting and self-serving are now, unveiling deeper revelations into my own unwillingness to tolerate, accept and love unconditionally.
Neurons are firing, carrying fresh information; burning new paths of awareness that slowly but surely twist the lever to allow more light to enter between the Venetian blinds of my own limited life experiences. I’m stepping outside comfort zones and risking the sanctuary of what I have known to explore, examine and educate myself in areas that have previously been unavailable to me and in many instances intimidated me.
And while I’d like to say that all of this has been revelatory, enlightening and enriching, it hasn’t. It’s been frustrating. I’m in search of the common thread…that golden piece of chain that links us to the other…tribal connections from the generations before us…the common pain, universal knowing, the thing that somehow brings us to the place of one in this mantel we call the human condition. The one belief, core value or shared experience that allows you, me, all of us to connect, to get along.
I’d like to believe that love was the universal shawl under which we all find warmth, peace and sanctuary, but I’m learning that using language to describe love is like trying to describe the taste of watermelon or the color blue. It just isn’t possible. Words carry with them a host of varied impressions, perceptions and reactions based on our life experiences and therefore provide nothing more than a possible connection. How I describe the sensation of love, may not be the same series of word-choices someone else might use. As a matter of fact, what I write may. for some, not represent the feeling of love at all!
And so…I keep looking. I keep seeking, wondering, hoping for the tie that binds us. I know it exists because I can see, hear and touch the result of it…it being woven throughout the experience I’ve come to know as Girls on the Run. There is something intangible…mysterious and invisible that goes on between girl and coach, girl and girl, family and our program. The distance we cover, together; the sharing of one spirit with another. I find myself sitting and feeling the program, rather than being able to describe it.
And so…when I get caught in the push, pull, and hype around lively political or religious debate…and am left feeling frustrated, powerless and frequently angered by the lack of common ground between opposing camps, all I need to do is remember the incredibly simple philosophy which rests at the core of Girls on the Run; True systemic change occurs when people change. If I want our political, religious, governmental and societal systems to focus on finding common ground, then it is up to me to intentionally choose actions, thoughts, and deeds which build bridges rather than burn them, connect people rather than separate them, focus on the good rather than the evil and through it all love, love and then love some more.
My power, your power, OUR power is that great.