I keep thinking about the murders in Atlanta and what I can personally do other than what I’ve already done, which is to donate and speak out. What came to mind is writing on worldview. How you view the world is how you act in the world. If other people are less than, inferior, objects that exist solely for your pleasure, then it’s not hard to murder them or hurt them in some other way. The reverse is also true: If other people are equal to you, fellow human beings that have the same needs that you do, you’ll treat them with respect. Furthermore, the reality is we all need each other, we all have something special to give.
This concept is illustrated so beautifully in Gary Ferguson’s book The Eight Master Lessons of Nature. He writes about how each wildflower has its own strength that contributes to the whole. Some wildflowers have deeper roots that help them survive during drought periods and others have waxy leaves that allow them to contain moisture.
Every flower has a different survival strategy and together they keep the ecosystem flourishing. If all the flowers on a steep mountain slope perish, the soil would erode, the butterflies would flee, the elk would wander away, and the area would become a dead zone. Living among diversity is what keeps the area healthy. In other words, homogeneity spells death. That’s true not only for plants, but for humans too.
My spiritual teacher says:
“You should remember that human life is not like a single flower; it is like a bouquet or a garden of flowers blooming with many varieties of flowers. And this variety of blossoms adds to the collective beauty of the garden. Had there been only magnolia graniflora or one variety of rose only blooming in the garden, although that single flower might be very attractive, still the garden as a whole would not be very lovely. A garden is all the more beautiful because of the flowers of various types and hues.
“Similarly, we human beings must also move forward while maintaining a harmonious adjustment among all the diverse aspects of individual and collective life. We must discover unity in the midst of colorful diversity. Not only will we realize this in the future, we are realizing it even today, and thus we have been able to consolidate even our limited power. And you know that even a little power, if consolidated, becomes stronger than even a mighty force.”
We are stronger together and we are stronger diversified. There’s room not only for one kind of person, but for all people. And instead of trying to assert dominance of one group or another, let’s reminder that all of us together are what keep this planet and our society alive.
I dream of a world where we treasure the contributions that we each make. A world where we value diversity. A world where we understand we are stronger because of it. A world where we remember what the wildflowers teach us.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.