"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
With the recent election, two very different and very distinctive world views have painfully taken their place upon the world stage. While there are clearly nuances on each side, it is the fundamental dichotomy that I find most fascinating. Is the world about hope and love? Or is it about pain and struggle? Is it a miracle? Or is it mundane and predictable?
While I acknowledge these are gross generalizations, they are useful for purposes of this discussion.
As Einstein so crisply states, 'there are only two ways to live your life'...one views the world through the rose-colored lens of possibility, of a god-touched potential that we have yet to fully explore and discover.
The other fixates on the drudgery of life that can bury us, defeat us, and snuff out our potential before we have yet to get started.
It is difficult to argue the fact that so many of our friends and neighbors have clearly experienced life shadowed by a cloud of injustice (whether real or perceived). They experience the world as fundamentally flawed, where the deck is always stacked against you, where others are out to take what you have, and where your children have no hope of any sort of 'rosy-colored' future.
I won't dismiss their experience as ignorant. Nor will I try to make them feel better, as though there is a purpose to the injustice, or silver lining to their pain.
Rather, I will make the case to all of us that we need to do better.
I happen to believe that our human experience is nothing short of a miraculous, divinely-inspired, pain filled journey towards our own seemingly unattainable perfection.
Our species has limitless potential. The game of it all rests in our collective ability to join together, to seek and cultivate our own and each others' innate human potential. However, we have to acknowledge and explore ways to bridge this gap between miracles and the struggle.
We cannot ultimately survive and thrive as a species if we leave half of ourselves behind.
If we are all children of God, then we all deserve a chance to see and experience the miracle of our humanity.
We have allowed poverty, addiction, abuse, and dysfunctional and broken systems to be the gatekeepers of the miracle of the human condition.
This election has shown us that people are in pain. That they are willing to accept the unacceptable in the hope of change. That sacrificing some of their basic humanity feels worth the cost of admission to a better future.
For those of us who see the world differently, it is up to us to demonstrate why we should not sacrifice an inch, not a drop, not a hair's breath of what it means to be a kind, compassionate and brave human in the service of any goal on this earth.
We have to lead by example, and we clearly have not done so. We cannot insist on a rose-colored world, and pursue our dreams while others struggle to put food on the table. We have been selfish, and we are going to pay the price for our illusions.
However, now is the time to step up. Now we turn our attention to where it is truly needed. Now we demonstrate why we see the world in all its miraculous dysfunction as a beacon of hope and possibility. We must show how we humans can be amazing together, how we can achieve the impossible together. We must show that we can be better, together.
Everyone wants and deserves shelter, clean water, safe schools, a vocation that is fulfilling. We all want the opportunity to succeed, the resources to excel, security and stability for our families. We all want real potential for an incredible life. Anything less than that feels like a shell game. Like a rigged game. Like a sick joke.
Life is not a sick joke. Our humanity is not a burden or a yoke of hardship. We don't have to struggle separately in our own isolation.
We are meant to evolve, and we are meant to do it together.
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