Imagine you had the ability to embark on a journey into a brave new world, one in which you have never seen or heard of, one in which you do not speak the language and no one even really resembles you. The purpose of your journey is to navigate this new world, its terrain and elements, master its’ inhabitants’ language, and align with its’ culture. If successful, you have would have the opportunity to experience a new world full of natural beauty, empathetic compassion, soulful inter-connection and a myriad of physical sensations. Additionally, this new adventure holds the potential to learn skills and concepts beyond your current imagination. Your mind would expand exponentially. Best of all, this new environment is one full of hope, excitement and support where you can live, learn, grow and love in peace and safety.
What would you feel like and how would you behave once you have returned from your journey? How would it change you? Would you want your loved ones to go to the same place and have the same experience that you had? Would you dedicate your time and effort in assisting with their ability to journey as you did?
The fact is that we, as human beings, have already made the jump into that journey.
The day before you were born, you were very much alive. You did not breathe as you do now, but absorbed your oxygen and nutrients from the fluid that surrounded you. What you heard of the sounds of the world, and whatever you could see, also first passed through this same fluid. You had virtually no control of your body, knew nothing of the new world’s language, and had no idea what another human being even looked like. The journey you were on was completely foreign. If there were a way to infuse the knowledge to the vulnerable you that in 24 hours you would be breathing not water, but air for oxygen, eating food, learning the basics of a foreign language, navigate obstacles, see, hear and feel through new, yet undiscovered senses, in a land you could not even imagine, life would certainly at that point be utterly and completely unrecognizable to you. Yet, that is what ear and every one of us have done. Our truth and very existence changed in yet a few precious moments. I wonder how many of us would have in fact been brave and courageous enough to have been born, if given the choice?
There are other times in history where truths have changed. In Galileo’s time, the truth of the world was that its’ surface was flat. If we traveled to the “edge,” it was believed we would simply fall off into an endless abyss. Today we all know that concept was not the truth, simply “the truth of the time” and what the masses believed in, so for a while, it became their truth. What kind of spirit, fortitude, and belief in oneself, must it have taken for his theories to be pushed through until proven.
Then there were the myriad of courageous explorers in days gone by who traveled and colonized new lands. Armed with tools, ships and the like, their beliefs and sheer will were probably among their most important assets to continue onward. They just kept pushing forward toward a new world, a new life, and new truths.
The funny thing about some truths, is that they are not just there waiting to be discovered. There is no concrete substance to a truth that one seeks and then finds. Truth exists only in the minds of those who believe it, and the resulting culture is the manifestation of those thoughts and beliefs. Truth is evidenced into existence through action and behavior.
Fast forward to 2014 and our cultures have their own sets of current truths. One truth is that we live in a place of much beauty. Our lands are graced with natural beauty from majestic mountains to red rock canyons to turquoise waters and pure sandy beaches. We are blessed with an abundance of colors, changing and blending constantly everywhere, different species of life to live amongst and learn from, and the power of self-renewing passion and inner strength, that we can draw from and share with others of our own kind. Yet, there are other truths. The truths that some subscribe to that cause humans to choose to kill each other, imprison each other, torment, deny, and destroy each other. Clearly the former are simply supplied to us, luckily we come by such beauty naturally. Violence is always a choice. One that begins in the mind, out of fear.
The day before we were born we had no choice, and we had no fear, only progression. There was only one way to go, forward, and why not? Hopefully, that transition was into loving arms and a new beautiful world full of hope and possibility. That was the truth for some people, and not for others. Clearly then there is no one truth, and the only thing we can control is ourselves. There is only your truth that you bring to the world through your thoughts and your actions. This is our choice as human beings.
What would you choose if you had no fear? What could you become? Would you choose to shine with beauty as a gift to all those around you if you knew you would be accepted? Would you, like Galileo, take the natural gifts in front of us and pursue new ways to interpret and combine these elements to open up the boundaries of our environment? Or maybe it is simply enough to see the need in just one other person, and respond. If you are reading this, you probably have been around long enough to figure out, that there are many improvements we can make in the way we are living today and we could all use a little more grace.
No one asked you years ago if you were brave and courageous enough to leave the only home you ever knew and be born alone into a strange new one.Today, however, you can ask yourself if you are brave enough to choose a new attitude of enlightened empowerment, enhanced encouragement, deeper consideration, empathy, kindness, and support. If we did accept this challenge, that would certainly be the ultimate form of self-defense, because we simply would not need any.
How brave will you be in 2014?