Desmond Tutu said, “God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family;that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.”
Linda Ellerbee compliments this idea when she said, “people are pretty much alike. It’s only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.”
This week started off kind of rough for me, as I’m sure it did for many of you all. Coming off a 3day holiday weekend and having to return to work is always difficult. Not to mention Southern California Has had so much more wet weather than we are used to. Rain means everyone’s already terrible driving around here gets 1000x worse. So I was thinking, welp. I told my blog readers that I would work overtime to find some picture of love every week no matter what type of week it’s been so I waited for some silver lining.
On Wednesday evening, I walked out of my group therapy class at the university, and was telling jokes with three of my friends. They had another class immediately afterward and I didn’t, but I decided to walk them all downstairs to their classroom. The professor ended up being late so I just kinda sat in there and chatted as people poured into the classroom. As each student entered, I saw so many familiar faces from my classes last quarter. More jokes were told and we discussed the previous night’s tv shows, homework we had procrastinated- the usual conversations you hear on a university campus. Eventually someone said ” why don’t you just enroll in this class with us Jo-Anne?”
I actually considered it for a second, even though I didn’t need the course. Then it hit me. It’s really easy to look around the room and realize how different everyone is from you. At work, at school, at church, everywhere. Especially those of us in a graduate program. We are all of different ages, career paths, family backgrounds, religions etc. it’s a LOT harder to note the similarities we all have, but they are there.
My first day of grad school last quarter was so lonely, if I am being honest. Everyone in my classes new each other from undergrad so I was kinda the new kid. I had no friends and I was so nervous. 1 quarter later and it was so nice to walk into class and see familiar faces. The sense of comfort that comes from familiarity and community is indescribable. It gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling to look around the room and just know you are not alone. We all want to succeed, we all want to be done and graduate, we all want to feel wanted, we were all falling asleep in the previous class-it just felt nice to be amongst people whose similarities stood out to me.
So I saw and felt love in the faces of my classmates this week and it made me feel like we were all struggling through adulting together. I felt love when I was blasting Shawn mendes in my car on the way to work to wake up. I felt love when one of my students at work told me how upset he was that they moved seats and he was so far away from me now. I felt love yesterday after a long day of work when my older sister bought me a subway sandwich no questions asked.
The point I wanted to get across with these love bits is that there’s always a silver lining. There’s love all around us we just have to stop and acknowledge it. So I will keep doing this every Friday and we will see where it takes me. The post about similarities also seemed very appropriate given that this weekend so many people in America will be noting the differences between our last president and our new president. I know there are differences, but this weekend no matter what you are seeing at the inauguration, on the news, what’s on Facebook-remember your similarities too. I can’t tell you how to feel and I won’t argue politics. I will just end this with a quote from Obama’s farewell letter to the nation that I think sums it up perfectly
“When the arc of progress seems slow, remember:America is not the project of any one person. The single most important word in our democracy is We-We the people.”
We means you and me. It means that person at work who drives you crazy by being late everyday, it means the old lady who cut you off. It means our immediate communities and our larger communities. Idk about you but I comforts me knowing there’s a we and I’m not on my own.
As always feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, questions below. How was your week and where did you find love? How important do you feel togetherness and community will be for the American nation particularly in the near future?
Until next week, love more.