Friday, September 20, 2019

Why Can’t We Live Together?

Photo by Laurie KasperbauerIt takes all the colors in the box to capture the beauty of the world we live in.

Photo by Laurie KasperbauerIt takes all the colors in the box to capture the beauty of the world we live in.

MIND, BODY And Spirit

Laurie Kasperbauer 

lkasperbauer@gmail.com

People should act more like a box of crayons, living together in harmony no matter what color or how you look. 

– Katelyn Doneker 

I have a couple of news apps on my phone. One is NBC2, local news, and the other is USA Today for national news. They send an audible ping that accompanies a headline on my phone when there’s breaking news. Lately, there has been a lot of breaking news. As I write this article it is just days after the most recent tragedies involving shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. No doubt, by the time this article makes it to print there will be more. The horror of human violence against humans is not something new, but it would appear to be amplifying in both frequency and intensity.

So far, I have not been personally assaulted. My family and friends are physically unscathed. I don’t personally know anyone who has been in the proximity of these headline news events, but we have all been affected. We encounter increased security at the airport, metal detectors in schools, and terrorist preparedness drills in the workplace. Gun sales are up, and levels of trust are sinking low. Trust in our government, trust in law enforcement, and our trust in one another continues to slide as crimes of fear and hate clog the evening news. But before we shake our heads and fall into depression with fear that Armageddon is imminent, know that we have the power to change the course we are on.

Here in our little white-sand, warm-sun niche, we live inclusively within a stone’s throw of one of the most delicately balanced ecosystems in the world. In the wilderness of the Everglades, birds, alligators, spiders and snakes, bears and panthers, fish and frogs have adapted to life in balance. Fauna and flora coexist in an ecliptic chain of dependence, and prey upon one another for existence, not anathema.  Black bears have not declared war on the armadillo, and panther do not claw at the throats of roseate spoonbill simply because they differ in the covering of their skin. To me, the lesson here is simple. It’s called acceptance and respect.

I’m not trying to humanize plants and animals. They are driven by instinct and acute awareness of their surroundings, but we could certainly learn to live more harmoniously, if we accepted our differences and respected individuality without judgment and the impulse to try to change one another. And it begins at the root. In our own heart, and our own mind.

Pay attention some time when you are feeling annoyed or angry. How often is it because of the actions of someone else? The guy who cut you off in traffic. The friend who betrayed a confidence. Your co-worker who talks too loud. The service provider who tracked sand into your home. Your boss, your employee, your child, your spouse. Why do we feel that everyone should act, talk, and think exactly like we do?  What makes our way the right way, or the only way? What makes our appearance more appealing or acceptable than another’s?

Peace comes when we accept that the only person we can fix, change or manipulate is ourselves. The burden of frustration rolls away and the lightness of acceptance allows space for inner peace to expand.

When we look at people like a box of crayons we see that there are crayons that are broken and worn, standing next to those in beautiful hues with sharpened tips. The jumbo red Crayola, worn flat from years of use, is every bit as useful as the sliver of magenta that’s lost its paper cover. It takes all the colors in the box to capture the beauty of the world we live in. If only we accept the differences and stop trying to make cobalt blue look more hunter green. A song was released in 1974 by artist Timmy Thomas. It has a fun vibe and a great beat, but it’s the words that draw me in.

 

“Tell me why? … 

Why can’t we live together? …  

Everybody wants to live together … 

No more wars … 

Just a little peace in this world … 

No matter what color … 

you are still my brother … 

Everybody wants to live together” … 

Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.

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