Maintaining the Patchwork on our Quilt

I happen to be a pretty emotionally sensitive person.  One topic that has never failed to bring tears to my eyes is the hatred and violence that persists among humans against humans.  It pervades through quiet communities, otherwise close-knit families and societies overall.  It echoes through churches where peace and acceptance are superficially exuded.  It is an insidious, corrupt variable of human existence.  Yet, these hateful events continue, adding countless pages to history books and stories to be told from grandparents to grandchildren.  Will we ever have the capacity to overcome this?  This will be a point of contention for the remainder of my days here on Earth.

Syria, Israel (along with the Palestinian territories) and Iran are just a few of the highly charged places on Earth where people are continuously so preoccupied with worry over their very existence that they are unable to conceive of being morally or intellectually bestowing to mankind.  I pessimistically expect that the chances of this ever coming to an end are dismal (and certainly not in my or my children’s lifetimes).   With this dark future, what purpose does scrutiny serve?

In the subliminal of this violence, I hope that there are some people out there, like myself, that perceive hatred for what it is.  Fundamentally, as complex as the human mind is, we fail to understand each other implicitly.  This experience of not understanding is at the root of so many human behaviors and eventually it will need to be addressed directly to move forward.  Can we ever accept each other’s differences without understanding them?  This is a question that can only be answered on a very personal, profound level.  It’s ultimately about relinquishing control over the forces of the universe, isn’t it?   It’s also about facing the realization that no other human will see the world the same way as each of us do.  We are, inherently, existing on our own island.  As hard as we try, we will never be able to congregate others onto it, because these followers will continue to see the world differently than each of us regardless of our diligent efforts.  The only consolation that can be made is to accept the infinite islands that surround us, islands that will never be joined into one landmass.  By doing so, will this bring peace or ultimately our demise?

I consider a patchwork quilt as a metaphor of human kind.  Traditionally, each patch would come from a piece of material completely independent from another piece of material.  As this quilt is gradually brought together, the final product is in the hands of destiny.  However, the creator of this patchwork quilts looks on with anticipation, knowing that the unpredictability of this design is what makes the completion of this masterpiece so exciting.   The experience is derived from accepting one’s lack of control.  Mankind is a collection of countless patches, waiting to ideally be sewn together by diplomacy and an agreement for peace.  On a more logistical level, this translates into putting very different people together side-by-side and witnessing how the colors of each person complement the colors of the adjacent person.   Theoretically, it does work.  New York, for example, is a stew of every nationality, ethnicity and religion that has ever existed on Earth.  And for the most part (yes there are exceptions when similar patches to the quilt decide they are superior to the other patches) this diverse group of people accept each other and oftentimes ignore each other (if you’ve ever been to the city, this characteristic of NY is laughable sometimes).  The question is, will people ever be in the position to be forced to co-exist on a micro level like this?

I imagine there will always be hostility since anxiety is an inherent part of being human.  The racial issues may be curtailed as the human race continues to genetically combine races and ethnicities from one generation to the next  (In other words, several generations from now all humans will have light to moderately brown skin with slightly slanted eyes).  Our religious differences would have to be resolved from the top down.  The Pope and other religious leaders would need to step up and assert the need for acceptance.  Pope Francis has certainly taken a step in that direction.  Outside of that, it must be derived from inside each and every one of us.  There is no final solution without personal accountability on a very emotional, deep level.  Unfortunately, without prompting, many people lack the critical thinking skills to make that change on their own.  Hence, the violence continues.

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