This past Monday, I was on a Zoom gathering when a woman shared what she had read in a column in the newspaper the day before. While she set the context, I was curious about what she seemed so ready to share. I was ready to process it intellectually and was blindsided how its simplicity nailed me emotionally. It is amazing what insight can be packed into 5 words when they speak truth. She paused, and then she shared:
We have lost one another.
I hear a lot of conversation about the divide, we find ourselves, in the “United” States of America. Yet, I rarely hear anyone talk about what we have lost. It certainly isn’t the first time we have found ourselves in this situation. And, frankly, it doesn’t matter how many times … for the loss isn’t a tally, it is a place. A condition.
And there is plenty of blame to go around. We could all point fingers and simply create more loss of one another. I would propose that we haven’t only lost one another … we have lost the vision of who it is we want to be … together.
A nation calling itself UNITED while addicted to division is hypocrisy.
The great strength of this young and fragile social experiment in human existence is the diversity of our community. As I have often heard, unity is not uniformity – and that is critical to remember. Like gossip and division, uniformity feels good in the moment. Ultimately, it is a shallow illusion that leaves a nasty and empty aftertaste.
All of creation is filled with a mind-blowing diversity. You can choose to embrace it through hugs of wonder and possibility, or you can choose to resist and divide it through the need to control. It is not lost on me that one approach fills you with energy — and the other depletes you of everything.
When we have to focus on division, we can’t find the energy to focus on the real challenges … much less on the great new possibilities.
A friend of mine was on US Airways Flight 1549 that successfully landed in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. One of the many great insights that I’ve learned from John is this:
If we have a problem with each other, then let’s hug it out.
Similar to the many airplanes you have boarded, the cabin of Flight 1549 was filled with diversity. And it is amazing how successfully landing in the Hudson River will give you the opportunity to find each other.
There is simply no pandemic, no economic challenge and no social unrest that we can’t creatively solve if we find each other. Most importantly, in finding each other we might just find that the issues that divide us wouldn’t have to fixed — they would simply dissolve on their own. There is no question it will take time. More importantly, it will take each of us to make a choice: Lost or Found.
Only one of those is a losing proposition. The other would redefine our Thanksgiving.
As always, I would love for your to share your thoughts and insights below!