There is a breaking open that is happening, as a nation and as a globe. Yes, it can be painful and seemingly impossible to navigate but we must also remember there is more love than hate.
There ALWAYS is more love than hate.
When it gets overwhelming, look for the love. I keep an image on my desktop from when the Syrian refugee crisis was first beginning to escalate. It was an image of a group of border patrolmen, in formation and in full riot gear. They were in blockade mode and not 6 feet away was a small baby crawling, gazing up at the men.
I was struck by the variation in expression of the men on the line. Many seemed willfully looking away from the child, not willing to allow the humanity to penetrate their armor. There were some that stood at attention and only allowed their eyes to shift towards the child, but their expression remained fixed as if from a mold.
Then there was this one soldier, leaning over his large police shield, the mask on his helmet resting on top of his head so he could get a full view. He was smiling, his eyes wide and welcoming to meet the gaze of this baby. In the midst of the chaos, a human being found and recognized another human being.
It is important to mention the soldier holding the adjacent shield. He was not looking at the baby. He was looking at the smiling man, as if to say, “Brother, what are you doing?!”.
In my work, I often refer to a study conducted within the American jail system for the purpose of Restorative Justice practices. It noted that 70% of the prison population is led by another 20%. There is of course the remaining 10% that may not be able to be readily influences, for a variety of factors. However, it only takes 20% to shift the energy and dynamic of the group.
We are at that moment of shift. This is THE moment in our time, on so many levels and with so many important issues. And though these issues may seem different or in opposition, though they may come from different segments of a population or countries or from different political perspectives, they all center around the need to acknowledge our innate value as a human being. We are seeking to recognize our connection, as well as provide for our individual right to live a good, worthy, peaceful life… collectively.
I believe we are one voice a way from a new beginning. What if more of us recognized ourselves as part of that 20%? Could we make the shift quicker and with more ease? Could it be my voice or yours that tips that scale?
I also want to acknowledge the importance of the questioning man next to the man with the welcoming smile. This questioning is our opening. When a person opens just enough to question the status quo, to break what seems like an impenetrable formation, literally like this man was doing, or in his mind and heart, that action holds the power to begin again. When we break through our fears and faulty perceptions, we are free to love fully.
When it gets overwhelming, look for the love. Just look for the love. Then share it. May we be gentle with each other as we begin again … and again.
Here’s to a greater Peace.