“When you understand interconnectedness, it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying.”
These words by Robert A.F. Thurman from Rising to the Challenge: Cool Heroism showed up in my inbox today from Daily Dharma as something to reflect on. Given our political climate and the most recent bloodshed in Orlando, interconnected seems to be a state of mind that is ungraspable for many. If people understood that we are interconnected, no one would be supporting Donald Trump. The hate and negativity that he incites would never find ground. The one-upmanship, negative sizzle, anger and falsity that characterized the Republican debates could have been a different story, one where egos receded and substantive conversation and dialogue could have happened instead. The discontent of the masses might even stand a chance of resolution if people didn’t see themselves as separate and entitled to what they want when they want it, with no regard for other. The hate expressed towards diverse groups of people could be extinguished.
If people understood interconnectedness, the heinous crime that happened at Pulse in Orlando could never be considered. How disconnected, self-righteous, and deeply troubled one must be to kill so many innocent people ~and to do it in the name of god is a gnarly and twisted expression of arrogance as well as one of deep despair. Horrid events like this one leave us all feeling despair, anger, and emptiness.
We know there are troubled people out there. They need help. Sometimes they need mercy. Often they need justice. We know that as a society we can bring influence and heft to wiser ways of being, starting in our own small orbits and expanding out as we have energy, will, and the capacity to create greater interdependence. Now is not the time to despair, it is instead the time to bring our loving presence to bear in even the smallest encounters. Thurman is dead on. His words invite us to each be a platform for interconnectedness. We are all one. What we do affects the globe, every minute of every day. Hate really is worse than dying.
—Robert A. F. Thurman, “Rising to the Challenge: Cool Heroism“