So many crucial events are happening this year and around the world. Now more than ever, we must join together as one people and restore the idea of #onelove. As humans, we must protect our rights and this Earth that we all share. Collectively, we can change how we treat each other if we cleanse our thoughts with positivity and love. I think now more than ever is the time to show our gratitude to others and to stand up for those who don't have a voice. I sometimes forget just how good I have it, I live in a comfortable place with basic necessities and resources. But there is so much more happening beyond me.
There's been so much division over the presidential elections this year. The struggle to protect the environment and sacred cultural sites has become a human rights issue regarding the Dakota Access Pipelines. There are so many people who have been affected by the war between the Syrian government and rebels, continuously increasing casualties and causing refugees to flee the crossfire. The death of Fidel Castro has brought about many mixed reactions with new questions of what is next for Cuba. It plays out in the media and we see the same negative images. There are so many things happening and it seems that more and more people have become dissatisfied by the results. We throw salt in the wound over and over.
But the one thing in common with all of this news is that people want their rights preserved. All humans deserve happiness. If you take a closer look at these issues, you will see the same underlying theme: people want to treated as human beings, they want respect. And respect starts with a creed, an ideology or collective belief that all people are equal and deserve rights. As a conflict management major, I believe that solutions are found by exploring the "other side", their interests, what is important to them. We can't possibly resolve our tensions by always thinking about our own good. Some decisions must be based on the benefits for not just ourselves, but for those around us. And as I say this, I come back to the idea that yoga is not only a physical practice, but a well-rounded way of life. It gets me thinking about how we are all connected in some way, shape, or form.
In an article by Yoga Journal, Marianne Elliot, a former lawyer, talks about how she uses yoga to help human rights activists. "I have been reading about the neurobiology of stories. Our brains have either been designed or evolved to make sense of the world through story. If you give me a whole lot of really interesting information about people in a world different from my own, I store that in my brain as data. But if you tell me a story, I store that as memory. It becomes how I believe the world is. A well-told story can be a way to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes."
I bring this up to point out the idea that we forget to see people as humans, that they're disposable if we don't agree with them. But if we take a closer look at their stories, to live in their shoes and see what makes behave in certain ways, or believe the things they believe, only then can we act with knowledge. Only then can we do things from compassion first, self-interest second. Let's stop generalizing these events. If we take the time to listen to individuals, it just might heal our own perspectives and notions. Go out and look at the stars, read some poetry, volunteer, grow a garden. The world is a vast place and life is too short.
And on that note, check out the new playlist. #onelove