We’re subject to great dichotomy in our society: stand out but fit in; be unique but don’t rock the boat; show your true colors but don’t get the neighbors talking; follow your bliss but make sure to have a safe job.
Can you relate? I certainly can. Whether you identify with a defined minority (LGBT, Jewish, African-American, immigrant, disabled…) or your heart simply doesn’t fit the shape of mainstream thinking, living in a culture that’s afraid of transformation is deadly to all.
The mass shooting in Orlando is a bone-chilling act of hatred against those who dare to be different, who dare to be who they really are. It’s an attack on all of us because it declares war on the freedom of choice; the choice to be and express proudly, wholeheartedly, gratefully, and publicly our God-given gifts.
The United States of America’s a special patch of earth because she’s been imprinted with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And she’s imbued with grace. All of the world is but we, as humans in society, need deliberate democratic structures that adjust our thoughts to the principles of equality and justice so that we’re more susceptible to receiving and sharing this grace. America is a good place for that because rainbows are in our DNA. Americans are wired for greatness through diversity. Lady Liberty isn’t the beacon of light for nothing. She embodies the vision of a better home, a brighter future, and a more perfect union. Every moment, we have the opportunity to realize the potential of a better, brighter, kinder society where we value each other for who we are.
What we need is divine intervention. I know, this sounds dumb, weird, wacko. But as Einstein famously said, we can’t solve a problem at the level of thinking at which we created it. What we need is a miracle. What we need is a shift in perspective so as to wire new neurons together and therefore act differently. We need to upgrade our operating system.
It takes a small, mighty group of dedicated citizens — no matter their gender, sexual orientation, religion, creed, education, or ethnicity — who’re willing to see what other’s can’t. Who’re able to hold space for a society where people’s innate good qualities blossom. Where peace and love and compassion are championed. Where mutual understanding and respect are the basis of our actions every day, from grabbing a cup of coffee at the local deli to making world-changing decisions at the White House.
If you, like me, are an outlier by mainstream standards, I need you to hold dear your vision of your inner oasis. It’s the sacred space inside your heart where your highest contributions to society live. It’s what makes you, you.
Truth is, all of us have that magic spark inside of us that can contribute to our thriving as a whole. But few care to listen. We need a benevolent tsunami of bright peace to wash away the walls of hatred we’ve built. We need to see ourselves for who we truly are so that we can allow others to be who they really are. If we suppress our own Truth, we’re quick to spit judgment on those who express theirs. It’s inner work and it starts with each and every one of us. If we make an effort, daily, to let our inner lights shine, imagine what a magnificent civilization we can become. We could finally come into our true shape.