In Each of Us, A Little of All of Us
Friday, March 25, 2011
Sitting on my couch in the Treehouse, planning a customized workshop for The Underground–a group of women who met while going to graduate school. I’m excited to see what happens during class. I’m sure it will be a luminous evening for all.
The sun is glinting off my glass candle holders in the window, Dharma is laying at my side, as usual when I’m up here writing. These moments in the Treehouse early in the morning, usually before my family is awake, are such simple blessings for which I am grateful.
Oliver is having his sixth birthday party tonight with a Pokemon scavenger hunt in the woods out back. The prize is a “Power Pack,” and I say it with gusto–”POWER PACK!” I am so blessed to be celebrating six years with this little soul who came into this world choosing me as his mother.
A lot of times I’ll come up here and begin writing with the words, “Thank you…” Thank you God for this morning sunshine, melting this March snow. Thank you God for my health, for my desire to write, for Dharma’s company, and for Paul for setting the coffee maker so I can tiptoe downstairs in the dark of the early morning and pour myself a hot cup of coffee first thing.
But that wasn’t what I was going to write about today.
I read a book years ago called, “And Still They Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-city High School Students,” and wrote a quote from one of the teachers in that book:
“In each of us is a little of all of us.” -Toni Little
I wrote that quote down in the front of my final portfolio for my teaching license and have never forgotten it. If we can ingest and harness the meaning of this quote, we can understand and enhance our connection to all people, even the people with whom we think we have the least in common.
Because we are human, we are all gifted the range of emotions including joy and pain, hope and despair, inspiration and confusion, confidence and insecurity, courage and fear, anger and peace, and on and on. In our emotions, the means through which we interpret and feel life through our senses, we are all the same. The only differences are in the events through which we experience these emotions, the languages through which we express these emotions, and cultures that inform how we respond to these emotions. But in our blessed lifetimes, we will probably all share the range of these emotions.
It’s unfortunate that we wear these masks, hiding our emotional lives from most of the world, so that the things we share with everyone else remain hidden. Instead we try to express ourselves through superficial means, such as what we look like, or what car we are driving, or what we do for a career–this is the sad by-product of living in a society where we judge and are judged on the things in life that never make it to the eulogy.
This is my way of urging you to remove the mask, to be courageous in who you are by being exactly that. Who you are. Who we are. We need all of us to make a vibrant society that sings with diversity, acceptance, and life.
Peace to you and yours.