I fear that some of us are only experiencing “me” right now. The mind is so full that the “we” is having a hard time finding its way in. “I want a tan.” And so Vancouver beaches are full of folks enjoying the unusual sunny weather.
I get that most of us, however, are living and breathing beyond the boundary of our skin. We think of our parents and grandparents, of our dearest friends. We’d go through hell for these folks. We have so many memories of their goodness reaching out over the years. They must be protected by our physical absence.
But is there more?
At my local coffee shop, now shuttered, there is a fellow who doesn’t like me. “So … you didn’t know that, school teacher?” I’ve actually enjoyed my conversations with him. I’ve felt twinges of antagonism towards him but mostly it’s just curiosity. Can I include him in my we? For the sake of all beings, I must. Personality conflicts represent one layer of reality. We need to ascend far beyond such boundaries.
Then there are that infinite number of human beings that I don’t know. On my daily (and solitary) walks, I often meet them. They show up on my TV screen and on Facebook. They too are part of my family. I must include them as well.
I don’t have to like everyone. For sure, I don’t. But I do need to love everyone … not the possessive “You’re mine” type of love, but a far wider embrace. We’re together on this planet. Your life – apparently unknown to me – is also deeply known. In whatever language, in whatever environment, you pass through the same joys and sorrows as I do. You are my brother and my sister.
And so I stay away from your body … but not your soul.