Gioconda is truly one of loveliest people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. As I’m sure her many friends and family would attest, she is a calm, comforting presence who oozes caring from every single pore. So it seemed fitting and “so her” that she would write this previous post below which reads almost like a guided meditation. She wrote this last January as our country entered a very uncertain time. And all these months later, with how many of us are feeling about the current state of the world, it seems like the absolute perfect post to revisit. I hope it brings you some comfort as it does me. Thank you, Gioconda!
Originally posted January 2017
Let’s close our eyes.
Take a deep breath.
Forget all of the emails, news, social media posts, talk radio talk that is filling up space around you.
Let your mind be blank.
Now imagine a world where we listen to each other. We listen not to answer. Not to one up. Not to insult or harm. We listen just to listen. To hear someone else’s opinion and thoughts. To understand someone better. To get another perspective. If you do it right, listening is a hard thing to do.
At my school we teach kids to have attentive listening. That means listening with your eyes, your ears and your heart. Don’t just act like you hear what they say, really take it in and process it. It’s complicated and takes patience but if we can do that we are moving in the right direction.
Now imagine a world where we see what is there not what we imagine to be there. We see facts not opinions. We witness goodness. We look at both sides. We acknowledge the good in people not just the bad. We see truth. That’s another step.
Now imagine that we care about others. Truly care about what is best for those around us. We are considerate. We put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. We understand that everyone has a story. Everyone has hardship and struggle. We practice compassion and treat others with kindness. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Now imagine that we work together for the common good. Forgetting agendas or taking sides. We could have different opinions of what the common good is but for the sake of argument let’s agree that it’s about being kind, tolerant, and not hurting others. I think we could work towards that.
I’ve listened to criticism, I’ve seen cruelty and hate, I’ve been selfish and narrow minded. So I will now take what I imagine, and put it into action. I am no longer going to put my effort into worrying about my future and my kids’ future. I am no longer going to hope that someone else fixes the problem. Instead I am going to do my part to make an impact in my tiny space in the world hoping it has a ripple effect. I will continue to teach my kids to be compassionate and to believe in the goodness of the world.
I am not making judgements or taking sides here – and I am not making a political statement. I am writing about what I feel is the most important thing about humanity – decency. Let’s care about each other and see the impact that makes.
Ok, now open your eyes and go change the world.