With family members, it is oh so obvious how connected we are. We know each other’s proclivities, each other’s likes and dislikes. It’s easy to see how a family is a unit that works together (albeit dysfunctionally at times) to get things done.
It’s a little harder with a neighborhood these days for most. Some of us are fortunate enough to live in neighborhoods where there is a lot of cooperation, but most of us live where there is a modicum. We know how to say hello when we see each other, borrow tools or a cup of sugar, help out with shoveling snow, or coordinate when there are street repairs. Yet in some neighborhoods people are much more in and out of each other’s homes, watching kids and dogs, having barbecues together, and more.
When it comes to our county, our state, and our nation, it’s a whole different world. There, people are often content to dwell on what separates them from their fellow citizens and even get quite angry over relatively small inconveniences like going around a slow car on the highway.
And yet, we are all connected as surely as the ocean is connected to the sky.
Next time you are feeling miffed, consider that the person who inspires your ire is doing the best they can given what they know about the world. You may not like what they are doing, and they may not like what you are doing. But each of you is doing your best given what you believe about how the world works. That’s one thing we all have in common.
How might you find common ground with someone this week?
“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.” – Mahatma Gandhi