Monday, November 28, 2005
The Spirit of Humanity
By Rev. Kathryn Horner
E.E. Cummings once said; “To be nobody but yourself in a world which in doing its best to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest human battle ever and to never stop fighting.” I believe this statement to be true. I further believe that we all fight such a battle. However, as we all look for our unique identity, we must understand that in spirit we are not different from one another. In our attempt to differentiate ourselves, we have too much of a tendency to forget that our spirits are connected to one another.
With this in mind if you would, please take a minute of your time and imagine yourself back to the most vulnerable moment you have ever experienced. As you go through this exercise, keep in mind that this moment is one where you had little to no control. Now imagine in your mind’s eye that you are experiencing this moment in public and there is no escape from its scrutiny. You know at this instant that their eyes are transfixed on your actions and/or responses. You also know that what is happening to you does not comprise who and what you are, but you may be the only one who knows this, or so you feel at the time. This moment is so intense that your very spirit cannot answer to what is happening around you. It feels unusually disconnected from its source however. You can sense that those around you are rendering opinion but this unfortunately is only based on what is perceived. You must understand that most people cannot identify with what you are going through. The public may pause to try and comprehend your vulnerability but still they dissociate themselves from it all. The latter you see is simply a tool employed by most people so that they may differentiate their reality from your own. They may mean no harm and yet the outcome is so different.
The picture you are creating is one played out every day all around the world toward those that have disabilities or maybe even the elderly, the weak or any number of people we may refuse to associate ourselves with. However, please also understand that this picture is not one drafted to solicit your pity toward another persons’ condition.
Stay with me for a minute more as I explain what I have come to identify as the Human Spirit and how intimately they are associated to each other.
I have come to believe that we all have something in us known as the ‘Human Spirit’. I believe it is pure from the moment that we are born up to the moment we die and maybe beyond this time.
Some of us may choose to identify ourselves in a way that can only be seen and/or touched. This may be because it is simply too demanding for many of us to venture elsewhere. So if we come to witness vulnerability, particularly in its rawest form, we tend to distance ourselves from it. Maybe the critical response that some have is due to their not knowing what to do. Maybe seeing genuine vulnerability in someone else feels so oddly foreign that it simply imparts a form of fear in some. However, is it possible that if we pay closer attention we will learn more rather then to conclude any perception as a fault of another while in their moment of humanity?
For much of my life I have experienced many such vulnerable moments that were out of my control. I have therefore also experienced the ill that the public can impart even though they may not intend to if only because they too were frightened. However, most important, I have witnessed those few that can see beyond our flesh. I believe the latter to be the peacekeepers or maybe in a time of such fragile existence, it would be better to refer to them as the peacemakers. In either case, I know that no spirit is disabled or irregular in any way, they are all, simply pure. God is said to be referred to as the ‘Holy Spirit’ and that we are created in the likeness of him. If this is true, is it then possible that this ‘likeness’ spoken of is his spirit and nothing more therefore rendering our own spirit to be pure for all Eternity? With that said, maybe our ‘mind’ is quite separate and therefore can become misaligned.
I truly believe that the human spirit does not belong to any one of us. It transcends us all. Maybe they unite to represent peace. Maybe if we pay closer attention we will learn more.
To quote another, Mother Teresa once said; “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Therefore, it is with her words and the following I leave you with this issue to hopefully ponder further:
To those that have little to no choice as to where or how they may express the human condition of vulnerability, I salute you each time you find yourselves in public. You illustrate true courage.
To those that have the capacity to see beyond the fragility of humanity, I salute you too. You are the teachers of wisdom and quite possibly the peacekeepers and/or peacemakers.
To everyone that gave a minute of his or her time remember this; change is constant and our only freedom is choice.
To all of the above, may you always find serenity wherever you are.
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