I was always different, even as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I was smart, popular and played well with other kids. I loved sports and as one season turned into another, the sport of that season consumed me. Football. Basketball. Baseball.
Team sports and I played on teams and with my friends until dusk turned into night and we could no longer see the ball of the sport. I mixed well with other kids, but don’t get me wrong, I never felt I was the same as them.
Perhaps a short story will help. When I was ten years old, my parents gave me $10.00 for my birthday and told me to do with it whatever I wanted. I remember my excitement, waiting for Saturday to walk the eight blocks from our home to the local shopping area, a short connection of streets with a row of shops on each side. There was a grocery store, a bakery, a toy store, a butcher shop, a hardware store, a diner and a bowling alley. Times were so much more innocent then than they are now and there I was a ten year old boy, out on my own with $10.00 in my pocket to buy “whatever” I wanted.
Imagine my parents shock and surprise when I returned home from my outing and showed them with pride the first book I ever bought, A Gift of Prophecy: The Phenomenal Jeane Dixon by Ruth Montgomery. My mother made me take it right back to the bookstore and she came with me to demand a refund. But try as she did to help me fit in, I was different. A few years later, my dad passed away followed by my mom 2 years later. My already inquisitive mind now worked overtime trying to understand why things happen and who I was in the process. People laughed at me, for walking away from amazing opportunities in the search to find myself, only reinforcing again and again to me, how different I was.
But now, at the ripe young age of 63, i look out at a world that continually strives for success, but has a dearth of people who actually know themselves. The world I see is one in which people live protected and they have lived for so long with the walls they have built around themselves, they don’t even know who they are. Ask yourself, WHO ARE YOU WITHOUT THE WALLS THAT PROTECT YOU? Do you even know that person? Does that person even exist anymore?
But because we live behind walls, the connection we have with ourselves and others is severely limited. My “connection” with you is really just my walls connecting with your wall, rather than you connecting with me. No wonder our relationships sometimes feel so empty. And no wonder the world we live in is fighting so desperately hard to prove “my silo is right.”.
When I sit now and look forward, I ask myself, “Is this the world I always dreamed of leaving to my children?” And the answer I give is a resounding “No!!!!” but unless I do something, nothing will change. As Gandhi once said, “You are the change you have been waiting for.”
It is time for those of us who resonate with helping to create a world that we would proudly hand to our children come together to build a world that accepts diversity, that sees the power and strength that come when people of unlike minds come together to innovate, where color and religion and what border you live behind is no longer important, where politics no longer separate us but finds ways to innovate change, where every voice is listened to and acknowledged, where hatred is melted by love, where homelessness and hunger no longer exist, where everyone has health care and clean drinking water, where people do not need to sell their bodies to make a living or sell their souls for the right to live free. This is the world I am looking to create, not for just a few, but for everyone.
It was Margaret Meade who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
It was Martin Luther King who said, “I have a dream . . . “
And it was Buckminster Fuller who said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
It is time to build a new model. Let us come together, White, Black, Yellow, Red, Rich and Poor, Old and Young, Employed and Unemployed, Citizen and Immigrant, Healthy and Unhealthy, Educated and Uneducated from every race and religion, every nation and every village to build this new mosaic that united us rather than separates us, for the solutions that we will find are beyond anything we alone can imagine.
Now is the time. Now is the moment. Come forward in whatever way you feel drawn to help. Let nothing stop you. Not Fear, Nor Greed, Nor Feelings of Unworthiness. Together We Can Do Anything.