We are made to connect, which is why we join clubs, get married, chose brands, cheer teams, and support candidates. We want to belong; we need to belong just as we need food.
I love the Old English expression of belonging. It was to be “at hand” or “together with.” It speaks to our need to feel included and welcomed. This is one of the things I love about Wholeness Living: no one is excluded and everyone is invited because the parts are essential to the whole. For too long belonging has been warped into sameness in what I call “gross uniformity.” It’s what we see at the stores when every chicken breast is the same size, shape, and color. Sadly, a lot of chickens are wasted because they don’t fit in.
Tragically, a lot of people are wasted too because of their differences. We have all sorts of laws that supposedly protect our individuality, but divisions still rage based on skin color, sex, religion, health, weight, nationality, education, and the like. I say, thank God we are different! Honoring differences is critical to a functioning, sane society. We don’t have that right now. We have a critical, crazy, controlling society. In order to improve our situation, we need to move away from gross uniformity toward something healthier.
Where uniformity does not make room for differences, similarity does. We all look for people who are similar to us. It’s part of belonging because in groups we see that we are all human. We commiserate our weaknesses and celebrate our strengths. However, have more than a three-minute conversation with someone and you will quickly realize that people are different from you. Instead of being repelled by this, accept that differences are good, for they bring out the power of collaboration. A truly healthy meeting of the minds has enough disagreement to develop new ideas and solutions. Too much uniformity won’t do this.
Honor is the answer to gross uniformity. Take a look at America’s founding mothers and fathers. Although they had a similar vision for liberty, they had different visions for how that was to be achieved. The friction their passionate disagreements produced created a three-part government that had never been seen. Over time, its different parts have allowed for different people’s voices to be heard and represented. We started with slavery, but liberty of speech and religious freedom enabled us to outlaw it as a nation. Gross uniformity would not have allowed this shift because it is too controlling. As a result, our founders birthed a powerful form of government, which protected its citizens’ liberty.
This protection has waned as the defining lines between the different branches have been erased producing a painful lesson we are all learning: Healthy boundaries protect people. Allowing for differences does not mean allowing for unethical or immoral behavior. On the contrary, it means just the opposite. Honor gives people the opportunity to treat others with a high level of care and responsibility (i.e. healthy boundaries). Perversity and immorality are not differences; they are deviances that victimize others in the name of personal freedom.
In the family called humanity, it is certain truths that enable different people to belong to the same community in an honoring way. These are that all people are priceless, all people belong, and all people are needed. It does not mean that all behavior is moral. It is crucial at this time in history for us remember this.
That's all for this week.
Remember you are priceless & powerful,
Wholeness Living Thought Leader