After the election, many of us feel like our nation is severely divided. I hear conversations around me questioning the unity of our society: How could so many people believe differently than I do? How could so many people believe in that way?
But, this is an important time to pause and reflect. There is something intrinsic to humanity that brings us all together. That makes us one community. The more connected you feel to your community and society around you, the more joyous and stress-free your days will be.
1. We all have our own worries and concerns.
We all have our own opinions. These opinions are often what makes us oppose and dislike other groups that have different opinions than our own. These opinions are founded on our own personal history, upbringing, environment, experiences, and a multitude of other factors that make us who we are today.
Based on this rich context, we are each believing and doing what we know to be right. Each person has their own reality, and in that reality, that person’s beliefs are right. It is important to approach conversations with an open mind and willingness to understand why someone believes what they do in order to deepen our understanding of each other.
2. We walk the same streets. We breathe the same air.
We are all connected to each other and to our community in so many essential ways that we walk all over without even noticing. Take a second and feel your feet touching the ground. Feel the sturdiness of the ground supporting your feet.
Recognize that the earth beneath your feet supports the feet of your peers around you. Even further out, the feet of your community, your city, your state, your country, your continent, the entire world.
Take a second and feel your lungs pulling in the air around you and exhaling out air that has circled your lungs and touched your insides. Notice the vast supply of nutrients in the atmosphere that we vitally rely on to breathe. Recognize that the atmosphere around you also supplies your peers with air. Even further out, your community, your city, your state, your country, your continent, the entire world.
3. We have the same insides.
Let’s strip down our outsides, our thoughts, our history, and take a look inside. No matter what we look like on the outside, we’re all just a bag of guts on the inside. And look even deeper, at our cells and our DNA—an ultra microscopic teeny tiny code that programs everything about us.
We share much of this code with those all around us, from every corner of the world. So much so, you would probably be surprised to learn about your own genetic heritage.
Momondo founded a project called The DNA Journey. The project aims to reveal how similar we truly are with those around us at a very fundamental level. Momondo describes the project:
“Our DNA reveals so much about where we come from. Most of us are far more diverse and have much more in common with people from other countries than we would ever have thought. We have started The DNA Journey because we want people to understand that there are more things uniting us, than dividing us.”
It's really interesting and I recommend you check it out. You can watch the DNA Journey video here.
Ultimately, to feel more peace this new year and beyond, don’t put aside your differences from others. Recognize them, try to understand them, and accept them as a part of reality. Put an emphasis on the ways we are the same to deepen your connection to your community and those around you.
Image credit: Andrea Taylor