We Depend On Each Other, So Let’s Love One Another!
PHIL: I had a dream two or three months ago where I looked in a mirror and the reflection was not me, but someone else. As I looked, the face gradually changed to be more like me. When I woke up, the dream said to me that I am able to be a different person, not just the me I think I am.
I have been thinking a lot about how society is structured. Everybody cooperates (literally “works together” from the Latin opus: work) by doing different activities and sharing the results. This is not obvious because cooperation is so much a part of what we are and so ubiquitous that it fades into the background. Instead, we see life in terms of competition and rugged individualism. Yet it is very difficult to live completely alone and have to do everything, like smelting iron, yourself.
I’ve also been seeing more and more research showing that friends are good for your health. Putting the two together says to me that it is in our nature to value our connections with each other and be grateful for them, and this is what makes a community cohere. (An interesting word: it means both stick together and agree.)
I think these ideas culminated in my dream and offered me a different way of how to relate to other people. I had already been thinking about the nature of relationships, but it is as if I was opened up more. It ties in with identity, too. I am me, for sure, but I am also human, and to the extent that I am aware of that and recognize my connection with others, my ego and my desires lessen.
The other face in the mirror was like seeing a hidden part of myself. Your hidden part is likely to be a different part from mine; how can you see it if you haven’t had a dream like mine? What can trigger that revelation? Well, change requires pressure, and life creates external pressures every day. Make them opportunities to respond differently. Christians ask WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? – which is a way to be that alternate face in the mirror and make a different choice.Consciousness of our dependence on each other can make us more grateful for each other #quote Click To Tweet
MAUDE: Reading what Phil wrote above led me to look at how we can apply that to all our individual relationships. I think this consciousness of our interconnection and dependence on each other can make us more aware. It can engender a grateful attitude for the uniqueness of each person and create a willingness to be open and listen more to others. It becomes easier to see how their very differences can enrich our lives and give us a sense of joy and wonder which we don’t have when we are looking for sameness in each other’s behavior and expression. Oh, and it can help us to laugh at ourselves as we see our small and large peccadilloes reflected in another’s words and actions.
Photo credit: Maude Mayes
Photo note: Thanksgiving
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