Spread the burden, spread the love
This is the 52nd On Humaning essay. The 52nd of something is not a particularly noteworthy milestone, except in this case it happens to also mean one full year of existence. A full year of exploring many of the things that make us human. A full year of sharing a little bit of myself in the hope that others can see a little more of themselves, and from that place see others a little more fully.
Before I started this blog, I thought I needed to write a book. I looked at the world and saw it was hurting. I recognized one of the roots of that hurt is the disconnect people have from themselves and each other. Many of society's ills stem from some humans forgetting certain other humans are people too. Poverty, hunger, housing instability, lack of access to health care and education. We live in a world of abundance, but we pool that bounty in places where it already is instead of spreading it around to everywhere. Many of the haves forget (or have not yet learned) that they only have now because they started out having something.
And I understand why. There are so many opportunities in modern society to avoid self-exploration. There is so much to think about and do outside of our selves. Books to read, movies to see, games to play, products to buy, important people to follow, the entire internet to explore. It's impossible to recognize the humanity of others if you cannot see and feel your own.
Having healed much of my own disconnect, I wanted to offer that healing to the world. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I have at least one. And, as it happens, that one makes some of the other things easier to manage. But I am not so important or well-known that I thought I could simply writing a book and let the medicine I offer to the world spread itself.
If I wanted to do any good at all, I would have to start with something small, nurture it, and see it grow over time. I decided a piece of exploration each week would do well. A recurring reminder that humaning is a process that never ends and requires regular attention. As humans we thrive on consistency and repetition. I am only as skilled as I am today because I have practiced on many days prior.
It has also been important for me to reflect on all these pieces of the human experience from a place of non-authority. I understand what I understand because this is what I have learned so far through my existence on this planet. I didn't arrive with my current understanding or opinions, and I am as unfixed and ever-evolving as everyone and everything else.
I also find tremendous value in remembering that I do not have to be the person to fix everything, even if I am the only one who sees that something is broken. I certainly feel responsible for making an issue known, but that doesn't automatically mean I am also responsible for bringing about the resolution. I may not even be able to make the required adjustment. Or I may not be the right person to lead a particular change.
As someone who has spent a lot of time single-handedly shouldering the weight of collective responsibility, I understand the prospect of letting go control can be quite frightening. Especially over something important. But the things we need to remedy in the world cannot be tackled by individuals alone. It's going to take the whole village.
So I’d like the people in-charge of our systems and institutions to take a step back from trying to control as much as they currently control. I would also like those members of Leadership who act like they have all the best answers to stop that. There are a lot of people at the top of our hierarchies who have been there a long time. Please take a seat and allow some other folks to step-up and shine. Things are not actually going to fall apart if you go somewhere else for a while. Or they will, and then something else will sprout up from the wreckage.
Humans are amazing. We can do just about anything. And we have so far convinced ourselves that people in-charge of things are smarter or more capable than everyone else. They might be true, but I think it's more likely there are millions of smart and capable people everywhere. The people in-charge are just a small sampling. They cannot fix our issues alone. And I don't want them to try. I just want them to fix their part of the mess we're in.
And I want the rest of us to work on our parts. Let's spread the burden and the joy of healing our world together.
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Jaydra is a human in-process, working to make the world a better place. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and observations about the human experience.