Ripples #974: Our Shared Humanity.
Jan 22, 2018
The moment we assume to know someone’s story we destroy our capacity to understand it.
-Jenna Galbut, shared by Cara at Elon University, NC
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.
-Pema Chödrön, shared by Julie in Missoula, MT
I recently saw the movie, I, Tonya, and enjoyed it immensely. Besides stellar performances from Margot Robbie and Allison Janney as a mother-daughter duo locked in an extraordinarily turbulent and dysfunctional relationship, the movie tells a different version of a story that many of us think we already know.
The obvious question many people pose coming out of the theater (or even walking in): does this movie tell the truth? My answer goes something like this: Yes! No! Uhm, I’m not sure. Who can say? I still don’t know what to think about some of it, but I do know that in the movie Tonya makes a comment that really resonates with me: “The haters always say, ‘Tonya, tell the truth…. There’s no such thing as truth…everyone has their own truth.”
As we mark the first year of a U.S. presidency that has been unconventional to say the least, I continue to believe there is some difficult, necessary and sacred work worth pursuing that could help us better understand how “the other side” looks at things differently than we do. [After writing that last sentence, I chuckled to myself as I realized that I even struggle to understand some of the people on “my own side” who say and do things that I find problematic.]
I believe our best way forward is to recommit ourselves to recognizing the shared humanity that exists among us as citizens (and as human beings). That won’t be enough to fix everything, but it is an important, essential first step. And things really can get better as each of us does our own part. I’m in. I hope you are, too?
The Ripples Guy