I adored my Grandma, she was a woman who drew people in and made them feel good. She had a lust for life that my eldest daughter mirrors. She was the person I sought out when life felt a bit much, and she spent a lot of time with me and Ella, when she was young. When my Grandma became older she needed more help and began to use a wheelchair and various other bits of equipment to make life easier. She slowly accepted it helped and we just adjusted. We found ways to make it easier for her and we asked others to do the same. Keeping someone’s love of life and happiness to be in the world possible, was an unconscious thing that we all worked towards. I’m sure many of you can resonate.
Yesterday I was feeling a mixture of shock and surprise. Not shocked in a small way, or even a huge way, but in an embarrassed to be human way. There was an extremely poignant post on Twitter from @Cioconnor and the title of this blog is credited to her, along with the thinking that her post evoked. The thread itself needs to be read as a whole for context, so here is the link:
I’d urge you to read it and not turn away. It’s a thread that made me think about the very basic things that many of us take for granted everyday. That we do not have enough of an ‘issue with’ because they do not directly affect us and our lives in this current moment, and yet we have issues with so many other things.
I know, if your life isn’t like many of ours, where difference is prevalent (only because we haven’t reached that view yet, that difference is in all of us) and these things are a daily consideration, this may not be on your radar as much as it is for others. I get that. But this isn’t sweet shopping or a nice to have – this is the very fabric of our world that allows everyone to ‘be’ within the world, in the same way you can be.
When I think of my Grandma and how we just adapted and made things possible, I’m surprised and yet again perhaps naive, that in the grand scheme of life these things are not just made possible in the same way. We’ve evolved in so many ways: technologically, our understanding of science, education, well-being….etc but it would seem we are still missing the really simple core things, that actually matter. It’s like we are intent on building houses without solid foundations, or any consideration for the future. And what’s annoying, or curious even, is that humans are excellent at adapting and changing their minds – so why have we not managed it yet – so everyone can be included?
What would happen if one day your life was different? Or someone close to you?
Would you suddenly become aware of the things that aren’t in the foreground right now? It shouldn’t really take anything like that to bring us to a point of shared understanding. How we are in the world is inherently different for every one of us, but we are not creatures that thrive alone, without the connection of others within the shared space.
I wonder about what kind of narrative are we encouraging if we do not broaden our perspective? If we ask others to ‘go around the outside’ or make them feel grateful for the small things we agree to do – our ticking of a box to show we have considered ‘all’. I feel quite ashamed if that is what we wish to encourage, and yet I don’t believe that we do, deep down. In our quest for the ‘best’ we are in danger of losing sight of what that actually is. We often become focused on silos in our thinking, homogeneous in our approach – but are we really meant to be framed within silos or homogeneity as humans? Are we not broad, diverse and different? Do we not need each other? Our perspective is still needing work it would seem.
If we were to focus on making our perspective of life more whole – and by that, I mean, so everyone can be within it, surely, we all benefit? Not just in a purely adaptive, functional way, but in a human way. What if we really made room for everyone to have a seat at the table – regardless of difference? Wouldn’t we all find our perspective much shifted and perhaps more solution focused for the really concerning issues we are facing as a whole? Perhaps then we would achieve a sense of peace within ourselves, perhaps we would surprise ourselves at the benefits we would all feel – because really sharing this space we call the world is essential for every one of us to thrive and survive. Demand better for your fellow humans.