It seems to me that there are pivotal points throughout history during which humanity is presented with opportunities to progress in meaningful ways. During these periods, there is a powerful call to examine our collective selves and decide who we want to be. We are confronted with glaring, sometimes painful experiences that catapult us as a whole to question beliefs, stand up for what we know to be right, transmute ideas and practices that do not serve, and begin to do things differently. There are times when we are called to face ourselves, delve more deeply into our potential and expand the collective consciousness. It seems to me that this is one of those times.
The signs of the time are written in the news and on the faces of those who beckon us to change. There are bombings, mass shootings, racial injustices, war, displaced people and what appears to be an escalating rampage of hatred and atrocities. The pain that has been apparent to some is now showing up on a mass scale, pleading with us to stop ignoring where we are astray and take action on what warrants our immediate attention. It is in the very wake of these tragedies that we are asked to make the choice to evolve.
We are in the age of connection. The advent of social media marked and reflects the presence of this era. In essence, the world now has the ability to be connected like never before, yet it is our disconnect that is painfully being brought to our awareness. We are witnessing and experiencing, on an unprecedented level, the effects of the choices we have made along the connection continuum. What is unfolding is the result of our past collective actions (and lack thereof). We are seeing who we have been and being asked to decide who we will become.
Since we live in a dualistic reality, there are two possible contrasting sides to every experience. Along with the destructive madness, there is the profoundly moving surge of good that rises to meet the devastation. There are heroes who risk their lives to save others. Despite the pain, victims and affected families are able to teach us about forgiveness, compassion and the poignant call for change, justice and peace. The spirit of generosity is awakened and people mobilize to help, sharing their gifts as well as financial and moral support to begin the healing process. We are being shown two faces of our human potential and being inspired to actively choose life.
In this age of connection, the pendulum is swinging between the call for unity and the counter-response of division. Along with the cry for peace and working together, there are those who shout a different call meant to engage and mobilize fear. We need more guns. It’s us against them. You can’t trust “those” people. We know what’s best. It’s their fault.
What we must understand in order to move forward in a constructive fashion is that our so-called beliefs are just that, beliefs. Creations of the mind. If any of us had been born in a different country or family, belonged to another religion, had a different skin color, were another sex, experienced an alternate tragedy or disability, etc., we would think differently than we do now. But we would still feel pain. We would still want to feel safe to be who we are. We would still have a longing to love and be loved.
Really, the qualities that seem to separate us most are arbitrary, based on the life we were born into and the perceptions we have created based on our experience. Stripped of these, what remains are the shared inherent qualities of what is truly means to be a human being.
So what is the choice? Do we continue along the same path or redirect the course we currently tread?
The call to collective change is answered on the individual level, one person at a time. We are being summoned to recognize that we are one family. Dividing ourselves is an attempt to separate the indivisible. A wall cannot separate us, nor party lines, the side of the law on which we live, nor the bathroom door we choose to use for that matter. These are illusions that we construct in order to feel safe. Yet how much safer could we be than living in unity?
The choice we are being asked to make is to truly connect with each other. To put down the phone, look into each other’s eyes and with an open heart ask, how are you? In response, we tell the truth even if it’s painful. When we recognize that another’s pain is also our own, we are on the right track to making a concerted, conscious effort toward creating positive, lasting change.
The individual’s choice transforms the collective. What we do on a small scale becomes the energy, momentum and mechanism by which the whole is changed. We may not yet have all the answers on how to build a more peaceful world, but the decision to acknowledge and move from the perspective of oneness will surely lead us there.
It seems to me that we are being called to wake up, consciously face what we have created and rise to the occasion with a renewed sense of responsibility, promise and action. The time is now. Will you heed the call?