Three Principles Living

Judith A. Sedgeman, EdD

We Are Not Our Differences

We Are Not Our Differences

Look at this. Was it a Black man? An Asian woman? A 15th Century Moor? A 20th Century mixed racial girl? A 12th century peasant? A transgender man or woman? A gay or lesbian man or woman? A Priest? A thief? A Buddhist? A Muslim? A rich man? A poor man? A King? A soldier? No way to know. But look at it, and immediately you know this bony frame once supported a living person, a soul, a member of the human race. The particulars don’t alter that. The essence is the same.

Our humanity, our brief experience in this life as thinking, feeling human beings, is what binds us together. Everything we make up about ourselves and each other beyond that is the source of what pulls us apart.

At what point will we all stop dividing the entire human population into friends and enemies, good and evil, right and wrong, strong and weak? At what point will we stop organizing people by race, religion, ethnicity, heritage?

When will we see that we are all part of the human race? No more, no less. Perfectly human. Human at the core. Human from the heart and soul. Human because we are all spiritual beings inhabiting one form or another of a body. Human because our common ground is that we are all thinkers and we all navigate our lives the same way. We generate thoughts which appear real to us, and that appearance becomes our understanding of experience. Superficial differences have nothing to do with the essence of humanity. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from or what you look like: if you’re a human being, you’re making up every moment of your experience of life with the gifts we all share: the energy of life itself flowing through our minds as thoughts of which we become conscious.

What we have in common, no matter who we are, is that we are living in the world we create with our own thoughts, moment-to-moment-to-moment. As soon as we generate a new thought, our world looks different. What we don’t always know is that we are the authors of our own story, the creators of all we “know” and “see”. And the only way the story can change is if we change it. Each one of us. Using our power to think to make up something entirely new.

When will we look at the way children easily interact — non-judgmentally and playfully and fearlessly — and realize that we are born with love and joy to share, and we are drawn unconditionally towards relationships with each other? We give that natural affinity away as we grow older. We are born with it, but we can think ourselves out of it.

Despite being naturally inclined to relate to other human beings comfortably, as we grow up, many of us figure ways to sort ourselves out and find reasons to be suspicious, or angry, or hateful, or judgmental, or fearful. This is not natural. This is all invented, innocently, by the way we use our own thinking to organize the world around us. We could just as easily use our thinking to take stock of all the beauty in diverse humanity and take stock of the gifts all people have. Thinking, and what we put into our thinking, is strictly volitional, and subject to change in a moment.

The future of all humanity and our planet depends on stepping back and seeing who we all really are: human beings using our infinite power to think to create our particular version of all the experiences we live in. We can lose our ability to see each other’s souls by getting emotionally aroused by thinking about each other’s thoughts, and then getting mutually insecure over them. We can forget that thoughts are not WHO we are. Thoughts are only WHAT we do to create, moment-to-moment, what we make of our life. The power to change all thought lies within each one of us. A different experience of everything is only one thought away.

We have the immediate power to change our minds, the power to think anything at all. At some point, I hope we share the remarkable collective insight that if all the effort, energy, treasure and lives humanity has squandered through the ages battling thoughts had instead been expended expressing mutual respect and love, we would live on a peaceful planet, without suffering.

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