“We are all born as molecules in the hearts of a billion stars; molecules that do not understand politics, or policies, or differences. Over a billion years, we foolish molecules forget who we are, and where we came from. In desperate acts of ego we give ourselves names, fight over lines on maps, and pretend that our light is better than everyone else’s.”
Delenn in Babylon 5: And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
Quote Copyright © J. Michael Straczynski
It takes a huge shift in consciousness to change what is to a new vision of and for humanity. We need to use words, simple words that seed ideas, concepts and philosophies that guide society to see, to listen, to really listen, and to understand that others may have differing opinions. We need to leave behind the idea that we are always right, and instead allow the voice of those we consider our opponents to be heard. We need to leave behind the constant struggle of becoming financially richer and instead be willing to walk a mile in another’s shoes, to really feel what it’s like to live a different life without.
Albert Einstein said many important and insightful things but his quote here is probably one of the most simple but profoundly transformative statements:-
“A problem cannot be resolved at the same level of consciousness that created it.”
For humanity to evolve, a societal shift, a huge shift in consciousness is necessary, has to occur, must occur. We must all learn to sway in the same direction in the same moment. We need to become much more aware of ourselves as individuals and aware of those who are our neighbours, friends and colleagues. That evolution cannot happen unless the few are willing to bring forward new ideas and new philosophies that are in fact very ancient. It’s always those who are not painted in the colour of normal that can bring about this change as they refuse to fit into the box marked conventional. It’s always those who are pushed to the edges of society that can provide the infinite possibilities as it’s only they who can think far enough outside the box.
Society loves the status quo and abhors those who would dare to challenge. Society moves only reluctantly and then at a snail’s pace when it’s pushed. Society is still hooked on conflict as a method of difference resolution. Society is still obsessed with otherness. Society likes to differentiate, to highlight those scapegoats they can step on to raise themselves higher, for them to live better lives at the expense of others. This cannot continue as a bleak dystopian future becomes a more solid possibility instead of a gossamer probability.
Society works better with equality and trust and communication. These are the common threads that glue society together, that brings acceptance where there is none, that encourages compassion for those less fortunate, and enables equality to surface where differences become less important. A measure of a society is how it treats those who are struggling to meet their needs, those who are ill or less able, and those who are different. On this, the UK fails on every measure. This cannot continue as a bleak dystopian future becomes a more solid possibility instead of a gossamer probability.
We may have many rules on the statute books that provide laws and directives but these are useless against the attitude and opinions of those whose religious and/or political beliefs give them a sense of superiority such that they think those very same laws and directives don’t apply to them. Beliefs cannot be changed by force of arms or threats to life and liberty nor can fear be used as an effective weapon against the majority. Beliefs can only be transformed by the willingness to see those beliefs as being detrimental to the whole of society.
Most of us have a sense of right and wrong, good and bad, generosity and selfishness. But I would suggest this doesn’t go nearly far enough in explaining the choices we make in life, the consequences of those choices, and the responsibilities that come with those. There is the universal law that states whatever you give to others will, at some point, return to you threefold. When you point at someone, three of your fingers are pointing back at you.
Those then who choose to use fear as a method of control will eventually discover to their own cost as they feel the fear they have imposed upon others. Those then who choose to step on others to climb ever higher in stature will feel the same emotions they wrought upon the less fortunate. This universal law cannot be outrun or avoided; it is an irresistible force.
Most people choose to look at life through a straw, blinkered and blind to the suffering of others, choosing to say they brought it upon themselves by their own actions. People do not choose to be infirm, poor, uneducated, different, LGBT. Where it is not our responsibility to lift someone out of their situation, it IS our responsibility to provide the opportunities for them to learn to lift themselves. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
The words open, tolerant and united don’t really have the energy behind them to create a big enough shift in the consciousness of people to carry the weight of change necessary. Although the sentiment is there, those words do carry us forward some way to meet what is walking up our pathways to knock loudly on our doors. We can choose to open the door to welcome in the new world or barricade it against the irresistible force on its continued march towards a new awareness.
I for one would rather help others to become the very best they can be. This is in stark contrast to my own experiences as a trans-woman where I have been isolated, rejected, vilified, bullied and ignored; and just for being who I am. Many times I felt unable to continue in a life with so much pain.
Once I was willing to face the abyss of internalised pain and my severely outdated beliefs about myself and others I was able to evolve my own sense of awareness and consciousness and became something very different. I regained acceptance for myself and others, compassion for those who had differing beliefs and abilities, and any judgement I had all but vanished so I could then see people without adding labels, or trying to classify them by forcing them into a box. Equality in its truest form.
It’s not an easy task to create a shift in consciousness and may take many years to transform society into a fully functioning, compassionate population willing to face their own fears together with a strong desire to help those less fortunate to stand on their own.
It’s not an easy task to create a shift in consciousness but that shouldn’t deter us from attempting to do so. The potential rewards are immense.
To summarise in three simple words: Acceptance, Compassion, Equality; the ACE of hearts.
Acceptance is about acknowledgement, recognition and respect. This has by far, a more positive ring instead of tolerance which carry undertones and inferences of:-
“OK, I don’t like who you are or what you represent but I will put up with it just because the law says I have to.” “OK, I’ll tolerate you but I don’t have to like it.” “OK, I’ll tolerate you but it doesn’t mean I can’t make your career here difficult.”
The rejection of another person for who they are, for something they cannot change, for something they were born with, is painful beyond description. If you are not in the box marked normal you are a potential target for hate and discrimination ranging from the occasional word to attacks and murder. And who defines the box called normal? Society does. And so it’s society that has to transform. And society is not an entity separate from us; it is us. We then have to change, change our beliefs and our attitude towards those whose opinions are not the same as our own.
Compassion is about empathy, kindness and selflessness. A close friend of mine has EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and PoTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome). Just one of these syndromes is limiting enough but all three together limit her in ways that many of us would not even begin to understand. She cannot walk without the aid of supports and lately has had to use a motorised wheelchair.
She cannot work so has to struggle with assessment after assessment to prove she is bad enough to warrant support and payments from a service whose prime purpose is to stop or limit payments to people like her and those in similar situations. Where is the compassion?
She complains to me that her mind set has to remain focused on staying ill just to make sure the system will give her continued support. It seems the system is not designed to cater for people who want to evolve and grow from their illness. The calculation of payments is a cliff edge rather than a gentle slope so should she become too well, she would lose the house she is living in as well as many other of her support payments. Where is the compassion?
The system is not an entity on its own. It was designed by human beings, by politicians who live echo chambered lives, who are totally oblivious to the effect their choices have on those who are in need. Where is the compassion?
Equality is about inclusion, fairness and neutrality. My own experiences of being a trans-woman have shown me that many people are either totally uninterested in expanding their knowledge about people different to them or are completely shuttered, unable to see through their belief filter to see other people as human beings. It’s a sad fact that many people in our society do not want to expand their horizons, or stretch their boundaries, or evolve from their own cloistered existence.
Osmosis is a great teacher, and by becoming that which you wish to see in the world throws a very small pebble into the ocean of rabid ideals and opinions to make a difference in the tides that reach the shore line. It starts with the few who are inclined to become pebbles as examples to others who are nearly ready but know not how.
In Parliament, all that the population see are factions arguing and fighting, shouting and screaming at one another like children in a sand pit, politicians living in their own echo chamber of life unaware of the effect their choices have on the people they serve. The willingness to listen to another point of view is obvious by its total absence. No wonder the country is in such conflict; there are no suitable examples for us to follow. Politicians: shame on you.
To start the ripples of change, who better to show and express acceptance, compassion and equality than politicians? They have the words, the exposure, the education and the access to make the sweeping changes necessary to transform the consciousness of the population. Someone has to start; it may as well be you. Or are you still tied to a system that is broken beyond repair?
And for those other readers; don’t wait for us to start. You can do so on your own; there’s nothing stopping you. Become a pebble; cause ripples.