I was seated at a Starbucks café, gazing at the throngs of people whizzing past me in London’s busy Heathrow airport while leisurely sipping my warm chai latte.
Some were running into a nearby bistro to grab a quick bite to eat, while others casually strolled into a merchandise store to do so some last minute souvenir shopping. They all conspicuously belonged to various races, cultures and social backgrounds.
My people-watching session was interrupted by a loud ‘thud’ sound behind me. I swiftly turned around to see an elderly lady lying on the floor motionless. A few people rushed towards her while others gathered around her looking concerned.
A young lady gently stroked the fallen woman’s head and covered her with a shawl. Another man rushed to call for help while another checked her pulse. The paramedics got to her within a few minutes and rushed her off to a medical facility. I later found out that she had suffered a mild stroke.
After the dust settled and I regained my composure, a warm feeling of appreciation washed over me. I had the privilege of witnessing selfless acts of kindness by people who let go of their differences to help a fellow being.
Our world community has grown closer because of extensive globalization, facilitated by the advancements made in technology and transportation over the past century. We have become culturally homogenized and share more commonalities than our ancestors ever have.
However, certain regions in the world are still experiencing civil and national unrest and conflicts. The fear that dominates the minds of the people who belong to these feuding communities is rooted in an inability to embrace the differences between them. This goes against our very nature.
Studies have repeatedly shown how humans are instinctually wired to form tribes, even on the basis of the most arbitrary characteristics imaginable, such as which sports team they support. Perhaps this tendency to form groups ensured the safety and sufficiency of ancient tribal clans.
I believe that cultural education and exposure to alternative ways of living are effective measures to overcome a clannish way of thinking and to promote world unity. We’ll be able to recognize and deepen our appreciation of the commonalities that we share with others.
Through our voyages and adventures, we’ll discover that:
- We’re all are driven by the need to survive, protect and procreate.
- We all have the same organs, skin, blood composition and muscular structure.
- We all want to experience joy, love and acceptance.
- We all go through the natural life cycle, which includes birth, youth, middle age, old age and death.
- We’re living in the same era of Earth’s 200,000 years of human history.
- We all seek a meaningful existence and question the purpose of our lives.
- We all call Planet Earth home- we breathe the same air, drink the same water, and are subjected to the same unknown forces of Mother Nature.
Acknowledging these universal similarities will instill feelings of connectedness with the people around us, regardless of their race, color or cultural background.
What ultimately matters is the quality of your thoughts and their effect on the planet. If you’re an agent of love and peace, you can be sure that your unique imprint will make a significant and lasting impact. Like a tiny ripple in a lake, it will expand far and wide into the cosmic ocean.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Why do you think it’s important to embrace our commonalities with others? What are the potential benefits?
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