On Freddie Gray, Conflict, & Community
As we privatize our personal truth, we create a public vacuum of personal truth. In this vacuum, fear arises: fear that we may be judged for our truth, fear of the other whom we believe we don’t know, whom we believe to be irreconcilably different. The awareness that we are one, all experiencing the same human condition, disappears. Unity dissolves with this perception of separation.
But this disappearance is only that: an appearance that becomes a belief, founded in something very basic: lack of communication. We are all still one, despite perception. As we publish our personal truths, we practice an antidote to separation. Sharing personal truth and deep listening — true communication (in its deepest sense of meaning) — is a foundation of building community. Community is a state achieved by the act of communication, but it must be a vigilant practice to be sustained; we must practice communication, communion, to sustain community.
In reality, we are not alone. We are not separate. We are not so different as to not realize our common humanity. We can come into community with each other by letting the truth out, by risking the publication of the self, by boldly moving into this vacuum of our own creation; and then, on the “other side”, by listening deeply, by not automatically responding based on what we believe we perceive immediately but by truly listening, even without responding, allowing the expression to resonate deep within us, to really feel the other’s perspective.
As we do not communicate, as we allow this vacuum to remain, some may exploit this vacuum with fear: media-makers, politicians, corporate interests, neighbors. As we observe this vacuum and publish our truth and listen, communicate, we build bridges. Solidarity. Awareness. Community. Separation dissolves. The vacuum is filled with connection. We remember that we are one. We always were. The vacuum was only a perception that we allowed to become real.
We can choose what reality we live in. We can choose community.
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Even white cops and black kids. Everyone.
I would invite you, without obligation, to consider.