Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Reunion & the Answer to Conflict



Classmates who passed away since our graduation... Reminding us that life is precious & fleeting...



Saturday was off the hook w/social events:

My Morning - Bar Mitzvah
My Afternoon - Wedding
My Evening - Class Reunion

Oh my!

It was a whirl wind of cool craziness and a bunch of mini road-trips gallivanting around West Michigan! 

It was a great day of re-connecting and celebrating w/friends...



The ONE THING I Learned from My Reunion that Could Instantly Change the World!


One thing happened at my class reunion that really stuck with me...

Something SO POWERFUL that all cliche's aside...

COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!

A group of people who are decades removed from our K-12 experience reunite for an evening...

We've all lived long enough to have Life kick us around a bit...

After some time here on this planet, it's difficult to avoid having things happen to us that we have absolutely no control over...

And I'm not talking about the good stuff...

I'm talking about the challenges, disappointments, heartaches, problems, issues, sickness, death, suffering, failure, ups, downs, mundane middles that Life brings us, whether we ask for it or not...

Things we can't avoid... run from, persuade, buy or lie ourselves out of...

You either learn resilience or become disillusioned, callous or bitter...

You can either grow wise or just get old...

Your choice...


The 'Shadow Side'


The 'shadow side' of youth can have negative effects. Selfishness, Competitiveness, judgement, shortsightedness & even cruelty, can often play a large role in our young world...

If you've ever been to a class reunion or something of its likeness, you already know that it comes with its share of anticipation and excitement to reconnect with old friends...

You also know that it comes with a healthy dose of hesitation, uncertainty, and unease...

Vulnerability...

We can tend to focus on our own flaws, the chinks in our armor.

When we go to gatherings like this, there is a part of us that is hoping we will be seen in a way that is pleasing...

Hoping that we'll be accepted and embraced for who we are...

For those who we shared our youth with to overlook our flaws of today and yesterday.

To remember the good things about us. To see the positive side of us now.

Possibly can (re)visit that what once was or what we wished it to be...

Or maybe to just recapture that feeling of wonder... discovery... That clean slate of experience that only youth can provide. Even for an evening...


What I Saw Was Astounding!


What I saw change at this reunion (our 30th) and our 20th that was different from our school experience and the experience even reaching as far as our 15th reunion...

Acceptance. Camaraderie. Humility (Well most of us anyway!=). Connection.

We saw ourselves as One Tribe...

Left behind were the clicks. The competitiveness. The ill will. The cruelty, that can sometimes accompany our youth and (of course) adulthood.

I saw a group of people come together who genuinely embraced each other. Who were grateful. Who were willing to look beyond the differences, imperfections, shortcomings, scars and wounds to connect with that deeper part inside of us as human beings.

That night there were no clicks, no casts, no popular, geeks, jocks, in or outs... We became One Tribe... Only people coming together who seemed truly grateful for those who were there.

It was astounding and humbling to be a part of...

Then I thought...


That's IT!


Yes, yes, I DO realize I am having a bit of a moment here...

But, as simple and idealistic as this is, it IS what holds the answer to many of the problems and conflicts we face in the world...

NO, it won't solve all of our issues (not by a long shot...) and NO not everyone will have this same viewpoint and even w/the ones that do, there will still be problems to contend with...

HOWEVER...

When we can see beyond all of our relative differences to that which is the same... We are humans and the Life we are stewarding has intrinsic value, beyond the differences we sometimes find so important.

If we can see ourselves as...


One Tribe


We can not only better deal with the conflicts that are unavoidable during this human experience we are having...

We will have a much better chance at dealing with those conflicts with much more clarity, less mistakes & suffering.

We will find it much easier to do Most Good / Least Harm for everyone!

So, can you see beyond someone's shortcomings, their faults, their relative values, their beliefs and behaviors to see them as a person and show THAT part of them respect, when you are appropriately managing their behavior?! (Even if you have to do things that are difficult and unpleasant?)

(I know, I know you've heard this story from me before... Well, at least I'm consistent! =)

Ok... Granola Rant OVER! =)



Keep Going,
~Craig


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