Plumeria, Lana'i, Hawaii
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012
Now, to qualify a little bit: Sure, it's just grand to be unique but I am considering that it is only great to be unique if we lift one another up in our difference and pull all those beautiful, unique, colourful threads together to make strong cloth. Right now, this does not appear to be humanity's modus operandi. We hold our difference to us as commodity and value and a reason to have something no one else can have. We use our difference to remain unique and separate. We use our difference because it has cost us to be different in the past and it owes us so we keep it close. Our difference has caused fear, hate and violence from others and we want restitution.
Some of us strike back when we are stronger. We say, "Yes, I'm different and proud and taking back what's mine!" Sometimes, in doing so, we hurt and negate others who may have hurt us in the past or are the ones responsible for our past hurts. I am not judging this, merely exploring it, for myself - because I am no different than anyone else in my experience of pain and suffering and separation because of difference and my desire to be be see, heard and to know that what I feel means something to someone other than me.
I'm not saying we are all approaching this in the best or the worst way. Just chatting, folks. Just chatting and wondering when and how we can heal from harms done? When will we be well enough to move forward together? How does that happen? Does it take leaders of spiritual doctrines: the dalai lama, pope, archbishop or the like to give credence to the idea of solidarity? Hm, no, I don't think so. It seems to me that we are still putting some folks on the inside and some on the outside through religious doctrine and power structures.
Is it the nature of all living things to set boundaries and separations for survival? Do other mammals ostracize and separate others for their difference? I know some vie for authority within their groupings to be head wolf, gorilla, lion and so on. Are we really just the same but with opposable thumbs and clothes?
Humanity, with our prescription to being the top of the food chain and able to reason and be better than the rest, continues to divide and separate, ostracize and take more than we give, clinging to what we have, careless of the impact on the whole. In our fear, we cling to our blanket of protection - whatever that is to us - and pull it from the body of the perfect sleeping Mother that is the rest of the world, leaving her exposed, vulnerable, sick and dying.
We suck. We are greedy and fearful and endlessly hungry. We divide, separate and conquer. Can we learn? Can we do it soon enough? We better start trying because our Mother is sick, cold and there is little medicine left to bring her back because we have taken all the comfort for ourselves, hungry little locusts that we are.
Perhaps our goal is actually to self-destruct, eradicate ourselves from the planet as a weed, so the mother can go on doing what she does well without us as the tick on her neck. We are Earth's bad rash, naught but a fever soon forgotten in the big scheme of things. It's a shame that we are flawed with our all-consuming need to take and keep that which could be so easily shared.
All I can do is think and act in a way that reduces my consumption. I can try to help other living things; try not to be so self-focused. I can give equal to that which I receive - at the very least. I can do better. We can all do better. We can start by breathing deeply and releasing our fear on the exhale. Smile ...and walk in peace.
Who are you? Look into the eyes of another; you will find yourself there.
-Gillian Cornwall, c. May 28, 2017
Coconut Palms, Lana'i, Hawaii
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012