“Are we all one?” is the final question in Matador’s “20 Questions for Every Spiritual Seeker”. The answer feels so deceptively simple that I wonder what I’m missing. My “no” answer feels sad, on both a personal and community level, and begs the question of how to achieve this goal? All of human history includes so much brokenness in relationships that it’s difficult to be optimistic on this subject. We all crave more unity. During tragedy, the best in us often comes out to confront our worst, and we show that we can pull together in ways big and small. The most important Nobel Prize is reserved for those who bring people together. But one look at the headlines of any single day are discouraging. It seems all too terribly clear that we are not all one.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can, and do, make connections on a personal level. For most of us, this begins with the family we’re born into, and then transitions to friends, and then, eventually, to a new family that we create of our own choosing. Even then, our fears and insecurities and flaws interfere with our relationships, straining and sometime breaking them. Not being alone is, itself, a constant battle.
As I’ve gotten older and a little wiser, I’ve found more success in my relationships simply by reminding myself that we’re all flawed. We each bear our own, unique weaknesses as complements to our strengths. Accepting the flaws in others is the price we pay for not being alone, of being accepted in return. When I really think about it, Love seems the only way to a life worth living.
“We’re born alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” –Orson Welles