Monday, October 3, 2011

There is More to This World Than Me

There is more. There is so much more. As I stand on my doorstep, bags packed, looking out into the street, I feel it. I feel the vastness of the earth. Cars drive by--undoubtedly above the speed limit--filled with laughter, and music, and noise. Children squeal with delight as they run circles in the yard. A neighbor answers his phone--for a moment I think he is addressing me. I look on as person after person goes about life within their own world. They address their needs, their concerns, their hopes and dreams and desires. They care for their family and their friends and their own selves. And it is not bad.

But there is more.

There are places on this planet that exist in worlds of their own. There are people that truly lead a different life--not in the sense that they have different aspirations and priorities than me, but that they do not have the same material wealth and opportunity that I have been blessed with. Individuals live amidst turmoil, and strife, and poverty, and fear, and pain. There are individuals that live in a different culture, that have different beliefs and different societies. Across the planet, they speak in different accents and languages; they wear different clothes. They look different, they act different, they speak different, and they are different.

And yet, I feel a part of it all. I feel the inherent desire to do something. To at least learn, to understand, to be aware of what is surrounding me. Isn't that the first step? I cannot change the world, but I can change my own.

I believe that true beauty is discovered by allowing another to enter your world. To feel together, to see together, to experience together, and to connect. I appreciate the beauty of nature best by leaving my home and going into it. By taking a moment to sit quietly and open the door, I no longer view the beauty through the window of my world. It becomes an experience, rather than an observation.

There is a beauty that comes in allowing someone into your world that you have no personal ties with. Someone you don't even know. Someone with whom you cannot possibly express empathy for--someone who has no similar experiences through which you can connect. But, in sharing your world, you discover that you can connect despite your difference--perhaps even because of them.

So, rather than live on a planet that is bigger than my world, I choose to expand my world. I choose to include the worlds of others inside my own. I choose to care deeply and I choose to react--even if that reaction is limited to sympathy. I choose to feel. To live. To love. To experience.

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