WE ARE ONE

Are we REALLY  one? 

My simile for us humans is we are like a pile of leaves that have fallen from trees. On the ground we all mix together and look like one mass.

piles of leaves fall 2014

piles of leaves at night

If we look closer, we will see the individual leaves, as we will also see individual people.

From the science of quantum physics and one of  its major thinkers:

Quantum physics, thus, reveals a basic ONENESS of the  universe.”  

Ervin Schrodinger

leaves  on ground fall 2014

leaf piles in day light

Since the universe is one, so are we. Even though we humans see ourselves as separate and not connected; this is a delusion that we learned when we learned to focus our eyes as babies.

The neuroanatomist, Dr. Jill Taylor Bolte, has added to our understanding about ONENESS with her first TED talk, when she experienced a stroke herself.  Consider watching her TED talk:

Our human challenge now, is how do we begin to live what we are finding out to be our human truth. Even if we embrace the fact that we are one, our even bigger challenge is to learn how we can live together with our differences. How do we become kinder, and more respectful of others while we maintain our own honesty about who we are? 

A major way I have learned for myself to become kinder, is I have had to learn to love and accept and myself and what has happened in my own life before I have become able to be kinder to others.  For my part I have learned this ongoing journey within to know myself better has helped me to become more open and accept and care about others. It is freeing to not judge others or myself as harshly as I used to.

What are your ideas about how we can be both ONE and celebrate our individuality, too?

 

 

 

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Open or Closed Door?

Are you an OPEN or CLOSED door?

open door at apartment

OPEN door

In the world do you show up open to people or are you closed? By this I mean, do you attempt to meet people with an open-mind or a closed one. I have become more open-minded, and open-hearted about others, as I have been learning to love and accept myself more.  As I got older, I also noticed as a teacher that I felt more love and connection with my students, and I learned so much about life from them.

closed  apartment door

CLOSED door

There is a real down side to NOT being open with all kinds of people of all races, cultures, and sexual orientations. You miss out on getting to know interesting, intelligent, and fun people when you remain closed in your thinking. You miss opportunities to eat their delicious food or hear different kinds of music. You are also cutting off yourself from receiving love, kindness, and learning from people you are unwilling to even meet.

You also might feel fear of people who are merely different from yourself. I know I did when I was a child,  and I remember being shy; back then, I was afraid of most people. I’m a different person now because I became more OPEN. Now I make different choices for myself.

A poem that speaks to differences is one from Shel Silverstein, No Difference. Watch it performed.

Growing to have a more OPEN heart requires ongoing work on yourself. Believe me, I’ve been doing it! Louise Hay has been a woman who has been a pioneer in this field for a very long time. Visit her website:

http://www.healyourlife.com/10-affirmations-to-heal-your-broken-heart

heart from necklace

OPEN heart

It is your choice, will YOU be OPEN or CLOSED?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Volunteers and Volunteering

     Where would you volunteer to make a difference in our world?

In the early fall where I live, I would take a walk almost daily.  Almost every other week I would see different wild flowers along what is known as the Fern Ridge Path close to where I live.

wild flowers, blue

blue wild flower

All of these flowers were volunteers and showed up spontaneously.

shocking pink wildflower

pink wild flower

On each walk I received so much joy noticing nature’s changes and volunteers. Some of these flowers made it through a dry, warm summer.

blackberry bush

blackberry bush

The blackberry bush volunteered its food to us. These berries were young and had not ripened, yet.

What does volunteering mean to us humans? My old Oxford Universal Dictionary says as a verb, to volunteer is:

To offer of one’s own accord to do something; or to offer to undertake or perform something.”

For me this means to give time to a certain group or person. I have been a teacher and a writer. I like volunteering teaching children to read with a program called, SMART. I also teach for the NAACP with a Saturday tutoring and mentoring program.  Other people where I live volunteer feeding the hungry and homeless, or plant trees, or build homes with Habitat for Humanity, or volunteer in the medical fields, or to help animals.  Other people volunteer for causes: peace, GMO labeling of food, ending hunger, racial equity, human rights, etc.

white flowers and dandelions

white flowers and dandelions

For me when I give back I receive joy, connection,  and get to know another generation of school children. I learn that MY life is NOT ONLY about ME.  When I give, my heart is made full!

Even corporate America is rewarding more in the area of volunteering. About 40% of Fortune 500 companies provide monetary donations, also known as volunteer grants, to nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who dedicate significant amounts of time to volunteering in the community.

If you want to learn more about volunteering, please watch this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkHbQrlQ7yE

    Where would you volunteer to make a difference in our world?    

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Beautiful World, Including US

What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people?

coral tree

coral color tree

Nature and the beautiful changes that our trees display each fall has always given me great joy.

tree from fall

multi color tree

What disturbs me is that we often don’t seem to see ourselves as beautiful as the world we live in, no matter what culture we come from.  While I was teaching people from all over the world of all ages for 23 years, I learned how beautiful we ALL are with all our DIFFERENCES. Our beauty comes from each of our spirits and how we treat each other and ourselves with kindness and respect.

kamie photo

from Ghana, Ireland, Spain, Jamaica, Cherokee Indian, and
Seminole Indian

If we do not accept ourselves, could this contribute to making us unable to accept people who look different from ourselves?

mom and son contrast

from England?, Ireland? Nigeria, and Osage Indian

One of the oldest quotes which appeared  on the wall of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece more than 2000 years ago was: “Know thyself“”

Learning to do this requires compassion for ourselves, as well as self-reflection, which we can do with discipline and humility, one day at a time. And when the going gets rough,  as we tell the truth about ourselves and our lives, we may have to reach out for help. Knowing yourself is worth it and changes your life!

What are some other sources of our lack of acceptance of people from other cultures?

children from Iran

from Iran, Turkey, England, and France,

From the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology the idea of ethnocentrism might be another explanation.

“Ethnocentrism is a belief that the norms, values, ideology, customs, and traditions of ones own culture or subculture are superior to those characterizing other cultural settings. The term was coined by William Graham Sumner in his Folkways (1906) and has long served as a cornerstone in the social analysis of culture. ”

girls from Japan and USA

from Japan, England, France,  and Switzerland

I ask myself, what emotion encourages some one to be ethnocentric? I think it could be the emotion, FEAR, which can be helpful to us at certain times, but not when we are dealing with people who just look different from ourselves.

women from Mexico, Somalia

from Mexico, El Salvador,
 and Somalia

“Fear defeats more people than any one thing in the world.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also about fear Emerson said:

“He/She who is not everyday conquering some FEAR has not learned the secret of life.”

Thank you, Emerson!

What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people? Please share them.

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