Monday, February 23, 2015

Seeing Parallels

Patricia Arquette is making waves today for her Oscar speech. Some think her beyond bold for the things she said.

I can't help but think about how we as humans could relate more, if we weren't so busy measuring things. I realize there are some who would think me out of touch, to even suggest this possibility. Obviously the things that some relate are not relateable, right?

As long as we believe that, I think we have less of a chance of being empathic with one another. I am not sure how to moderate that, though, against the idea that there are some who will feel in some way not understood or disregarded or minimized by things compared that do not seem to fit.

A part of me goes to the idea that I discussed recently - that it is fairly difficult - if not impossible - to say all that needs to be said in a soundbite. And, yet, we do try. We try desperately at times.

Sometimes to be heard, a message needs to come in a way that is out of context, in a forum that is unexpected. In that sense, what she did was ideal. It got all kinds of people talking, and paying attention.

Is there a way that we could start looking for bottom-line similarities, instead of seeking to show just how much another must not understand us by the fact that the measurements do not equate?

It is a dual-edged sword. Labelling can just as easily unite and divide us.

Think about the Olympics. The team labelled "USA" is united, and the team labelled "Spain" is united. However, by the virtue of having two different labels, the people of those teams are divided from one another, even though they are very likely going through similar training, and have similar aspirations and hopes. 

They could root for each other as human beings in the same, or similar, circumstance, but that idea is potentially at odds with the competitive, measuring nature the labels set up - even within a team when there are labels like Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

I suspect if we want to get along as a community, we need to go beyond the surface of the labels, and have an experience of relating to another that transcends our pain and disappointments.

It certainly is not likely to be the easiest task. Blaming, and being pissed, and other things, often seem much easier than taking a step back to look more deeply. It certainly is the route of least resistance for many of our emotions.

I am not sure what "the" answer is...but I think if we look for opportunities to be empathic, and look more for what we have in common, we might just be closer than we think - in more ways than one.

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