Monday, July 22, 2013

"What's Right For You, What's Right For Me" by Raphaella Vaisseau

     Our world is diverse: diverse in climate, terrain, topography, animal life, culture, and in our human family. Diversity is a big part of what makes this experience of life here on Earth so interesting and beautiful. Tolerance of diversity is essential to freedom. However, tolerance, as important as it is, is only the first step.
     The next step is taking a look at the differences among us and celebrating them. Yes, celebrate, even adore. It's noticing contrast that gives us ideas of what we want more (or less) of, who we want to be, where we want to go, and who we want to spend time with. Henry David Thoreau posed this question: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"
     The essence of being free allows room (tolerance) for everyone's unique expression. No need to all be alike. Being different doesn't threaten anyone simply by being different. It's layering judgment, righteousness, fear, scarcity, and other negative emotions on top of differences that create separation.
     John-Roger, founder of MSIA (the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness), shares three spiritual guidelines for us: 1. Take care of yourself so you can help take care of others; 2. Don't hurt yourself and don't hurt others; and 3. Use everything for your upliftment, learning, and growth. Simple, yet profound.
     Common sense is not common. There is no rule book for our diverse human experience. We figure it out as we go along. Again, Thoreau's words speak the truth: "It is never too late to give up our prejudices."
     In reality, giving up our prejudices can look like giving someone the benefit of the doubt, refraining from thinking you know what's best, or right, for another person, letting go of the need to compare and find fault. It's about respect. How might our world transform if, instead of being fearful of others not like us, we were curious and eager to learn from one another? How might our lives be enhanced on a daily basis by accepting an individual's choice to step outside of a traditional, accepted way of being and walk a different path?
-Raphaella Vaisseau

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