We Are Different, But We Are All Connected

Connections, connections, connections. If you hang around me for any length of time, you will hear me talk about how important connections and connectivity are. When I was working at the college, I found that listening to other points of view helped me understand the work environment better. As I understood the environment better, I learned how to help others get the things that they wanted, which helped pave the way for the things I needed to get stuff done. Give and take. Speaking and listening. Yin and Yang.

All of that works great for the communicative aspect of connectivity, but what the connectivity with one’s environment outside of work? Like the woods? The prairie? The mountains? The ocean? The river valley? The ultra-right-wing Conservatives? Ok, I just heard your mind come to a screeching stop. Connection isn’t about trying to add THOSE people into our reality, right?

Well, actually it is. Because they live here, too. But let’s remember something – this isn’t about politics. This is about connection.

Currently, I am reading Kristoffer Hughes’ book “Natural Druidry”. In the foreword, Kristoffer makes the following point:

Connection, connection, connection. You may well tire of seeing this word leap out at you paragraph after paragraph, yet in my view it is the lack of connection which fragments our society and facilitated man’s fall into unconsciousness and apathy. We have forgotten the importance of the interconnectedness of life, and as a consequence have become lost in the illusion that density fabricates, creating a deep sleep that fell upon the people of the earth, each individual believing themselves to be separate from the sentiency of the earth and her creatures, a state which I refer to as the forgetfulness of life. Druidry evokes within us a memory, forgetfulness is a temporary state, it merely requires something to stir that memory within us and allow it to filter through, imbuing in us a sense of “Oh yeah!!! I remember!”

Kristoffer Hughes, “Natural Druidry”

We all live on this floating rock in space together. We have segmented ourselves into categories – into small, personally described tribes, if you will. Conservatives, Liberals. Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Christians, Pagans, Wiccans, Druids, Witches, Heathens, Blondes, Brunettes, green-eyes, blue-eyes, civilian, military, college educated, high school dropouts, tall people, short people. We have found so many ways to divide ourselves. But when we look at the aspect of connectivity, it will boils back to one point: we are all denizens of this planet. All of us. Human, plant, insect, mineral. We are all here together.

We have different ideas of how we should be governed. We disagree strongly enough to fight wars to determine what’s right or wrong about that. We divide ourselves. We search for the “right” or “wrong” of a situation, and then agree that the difference is enough to wipe out those that believe differently. Yet, as Kristoffer points out, we’ve forgotten that we are all here, together. Not apart.

How do we achieve that cohesive aspect of remembering that we are all connected? How do we collectively awaken from that deep slumber? Well, to be honest, its an up-hill struggle. There’s not a gentle slope that we can walk to achieve the apex once again. We’re probably looking at a slope that is more akin to a sheer cliff face. Moving up it to achieve that point of apex is going to take a lot of effort. It looks impossible. And it will be, if we don’t try.

For me, my first step is in writing this. The second step is in finding a way to live this. We are all connected. All of us. People, insects, animals, minerals. When we remove something or someone from the equation, we alter the future. When we divide ourselves into smaller tribal groups, we found cohesive thought with those that think and believe the way that we do. There’s a feeling of strength and belonging in all of that. We feel that we are heard. That we are seen. All at the expense of others that are different. But that is all right, so long as we don’t remove others permanently from a cohesive future on this planet.

We can think differently. We can all believe differently. We can all be different. We can do that without trying to make the rest of the planet the same way. Our differences unite us far more greatly than we are divided. We are all a part of the future.

So, what does all this have to do with connectivity? How does all of this manifest in the feeling I get when I walk through a forest, where the trees and the environment make me feel alive again? Or when I walk through a late summer field of corn, the height of the stalks blocking out the modern aspects of the city from my sight, allowing me to forget the daily grind of a modern world? Or when I sit on a park bench in an idyllic park set in the midst of a concrete and steel jungle of sky-piercing buildings? Well, as I pointed out before we are all here. Our collective future grows because we survive on. Its not just our ideas that manifest the future. Its us. All of us. The molecules that are us are here. Every choice we make moves us all collective forward. There’s literally no way to determine how each choice shapes and formulates the future. Cheetos or Lay’s Onion-flavored chips with your Subway sandwich for lunch? Coffee or a soda with that meal? What happens if you choose one over the other? How does the future get re-shaped with your choice? What if you chose the other instead? Who knows?

Scientifically, I cannot prove any of what I posit here. Just as I cannot prove other aspects of things that I believe, such as reincarnation. But these are beliefs that I hold. I still hold that our futures are what they are because we are here. We are all connected together. Removing pieces from that connectivity, just because we are different, doesn’t make the future better or worse. But it does alter the future irreversibly. How? I cannot really say.

Is there a horrible future coming that is dark and foreboding? Certainly. There’s always a chance of that happening. But it doesn’t have to be. We can alter that with our actions, our thoughts, our interactions with everyone and everything else. We can live in an environment of today, where we predict doom and destruction with every breath we exhale. Focusing on that, well, it probably makes it more likely. Expend energy on something you believe, and you are likely to make it manifest. But that’s a thought for another time, eh? 😊

My long, rambly point? Well, its simple. We are all connected together. Wishing away those that are different than ourselves, understandable. Not a good outcome, since getting everyone to believe exactly as we do winds up becoming the worst aspects of “group-think”. Plus, society gets dull with the same everything. I like diversity. Things get interesting when that happens. Plus, a different perspective allows for more chances to learn, more chances to grow. That happens when we acknowledge our connected nature. We are different, but we are all connected. 😊 I hope that some aspect of this made some kind of sense….

–Tommy /|\

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