“There is a place where the sidewalk ends, and before the street begins.”
~ Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends (p.64)
Belonging is a hard theme to grasp. Welcoming, even harder.
There are people I need to welcome and show hospitality to that I don’t think about in that way at all. Their philosophies and thinking patterns are too different.
While my intention would be to understand fully and accept differences and offer internal space to ‘all’, I don’t know that I can, or want to. And I don’t know how that makes me feel about myself and who I claim to be.
People are difficult, deep, educated and ‘aware’. We feel as though we have many important things to say.
We assess ourselves in group activities and identify as the ‘Sunshiners’, the ‘Must Make It Happen’, the ‘Tap Tap Time Keepers’, The ‘Careful Caregivers’, and the ‘Closers’. We talk about how important each group is and how each group provides balance and meaning. And as the year progresses we struggle to maintain the openness to the ‘other’.
Can we settle in to the comfort of discomfort? Should everyone be included in the circle of love?
The answer to that question is yes… Because… we ALL know what it feels to be on the outside looking in.
The answer is yes .. because we all know what it feels like to be boxed in, to feel lonely, to have been bullied, to have championed a cause…
The answer is yes because we have more in common than we know.
Yes, because there is MORE that brings us together than we think.
Yes, because, until we look close enough to see each other’s humanity we are just strangers filled with distrust and fear. And who likes to live like that?