When I was much younger, I read a story in Hyemeyohsts Storm’s Seven Arrows, a book that introduced its readers to the ways of the Great Plains people, a peaceful society that existed for centuries before European settlers came to North America. The first story in the book described a gathering of people in a circle, each observing a drum or a feather in the center. Everyone, based on his or her position in the circle, would perceive the object differently. Now, continued the author, take an abstract thought and put that in the center of the circle. The level of complexity and diversity of interpretation deepens significantly.
The cover of our last issue of Pathways represented such a concept*, placed in the circle of many viewers when it made international news. Some of the extensive conversation that resulted was judgmental, and some was quite elevating. Yes, it was reflective of each interpreter’s perception—his or her point of view, at that moment in time, based on their personal cultural, religious, social, parental and educational experiences. Recognizing such diversity of experience, and the individual perspectives that result, leads us to realize that judging each other for our perspectives is futile. If our goal is to expand awareness to embrace other interpretations of an idea or concept, we can see the wisdom in avoiding judgment altogether.
So in what state of being can we find the means to reach a connectedness amid our perceived differences? In this very question lies the answer. First and foremost, we must have a sense that we are already connected, and we must have the deep desire to foster this connection, something that judgment never accomplishes. With that sense of connection in mind, we will be able to approach the situation with compassion—the ability to see, feel and express this deep connection between ourselves and others.
The articles in Pathways present ideas and concepts that often challenge the status quo, and therefore stir deep feelings in people exposed to them. It is our hope that our readers, when sharing these ideas with others, and perhaps encountering resistance and judgment, seek to show a true recognition of our collective connectivity and express the compassion necessary for the raising of the consciousness.
Many, many blessings,
Jeanne Ohm, D.C.
* Pathways issue #35 featured breastfeeding mom Jamie Grumet and repositioned Time magazine's cover and message. Read about it here on our Press Page
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #36.
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