Boldly existing outside the box through conscious living and constant learning.
“When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.”
-Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
For some the signal for the end of all we know of this world. For others, a symbolic sequence of numbers that within it holds special meanings and cosmic powers. For me, this day provides an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be human and be a single piece of an elaborate tapestry that together with out natural world represent what it means to live. Each and every day gifts us the chance to either make a positive impact or a negative one, to lift up or to tear down, to build or destroy. Often times daily life clouds these opportunities so when a special and signficant day comes around I like to take the chance to break the cycle and really focus on what matters in life.
Just doing some quick looking I came across a really cool movement centered around this significant date. It is called Celebrate 12-12-12 and really hits at the heart of so much of what Unboxed Living is about and what immense potential each day brings for our connection to other people. Here is a snippet from their home page:
Wherever you are, whoever you are, take some time on December 12, 2012 – perhaps at 12:12 or throughout the day – to celebrate the simple yet transformative understanding that we are all interconnected in the living system called Planet Earth. Let us together share one dream, one heart and one intention with an infinite variety of expressions.
Finally, our Human Family has gathered all experience needed to co-create a sustainable, just and fulfilling human presence on this planet. Now it is up to us to spread the knowledge and start using it. Brave people, organizations, companies and countries are already making it happen in their communities. Let the news be seen and heard on 12-12-12!
On the website you can register and participate in celebrations on 12-12-12 and beyond that aim to foster and spread the idea that we are all connected no matter the distance that separates us, that being human means being part of something greater, something larger than our own independent lives. I encourage you all to check it out and take part in this amazing movement.
On a day that means so many different things to so many different people it is hard to find common ground on which to share a message or idea. Recently I was deeply affected by a story that I read and you probably have heard of. For the most part I usually try to steer clear of most news media and other forms of mass-produced, mainstream, misrepresented interpretations of actual events, but in this case I was taken back and felt compelled to not necessarily discuss this specific story, but to look at in with an eye toward learning not only about ourselves, but how ignoring our connectedness and collective responsibility can lead to tragedy on many levels.
Just to summarize the story briefly, earlier this month in a New York City Subway station two men got into some sort of altercation. This resulted in one man being thrown onto the subway tracks. Before he could get back up onto the platform he was struck by a train and killed. A tragic and heartbreaking story. Beyond the sad nature of this event there are details that really strike at the core of not only why I choose to write about the things I do, but also show me that we have so much work to do as human beings.
The first detail is that after the man fell onto the tracks witnesses say that the man “struggled for about a minute to pull himself up before being struck.” A minute. Lets do something. Get out your phone or watch or look at a clock. When it turns over to a new minute I want you to stare at it until it changes to the next minute. Go ahead and do that…
A minute is a long time. The question that immediately comes to my mind is how can a subway station full of people allow a man to struggle to pull himself up for a full minute before being killed by a train and not a single person attempted to help him. Is it fear? Is it shock? Is it selfish concern for ones wellbeing or safety? Or is it a societal sickness that has permeated within our world for so long that we have become incapable of thinking about others in the same way we think of ourselves? Have we become so hardened, so ignorant to the fact that our outward differences or inner inconsistencies do not preclude us from caring for each other that we would allow this to happen? I don’t have an answer to that question but it is beginning to seem more and more like it is true.
Another aspect of this story came from some photos that a man took that ended up on the front page of some trashy tabloid magazine. The man told news reporters that there was no way he could have rescued the man, no way he could have helped. The tragic thing is that he was able to snap 49 photos of the incident right up to the point where the man is struck by the train. 49 photos. I don’t care what kind of camera you have, 49 photos takes time, time that could have been used at least attempting to save the man. I am not saying this man is lying or purposely tried not to help. I am saying that in our society we have become trained to first think of ourselves and cling to the idea that other people are not my responsibility. I don’t have to help anyone if I don’t want to. That somehow this man dieing in the way he did doesn’t affect the rest of us. The simple fact is that these things just aren’t, or at least should not be, true.
Beyond the truly saddening events of this day and the tragedy for this man, his family, and those who witnessed the event let us try to really absorb what this can teach us. If we allow ourselves to ignore for too long our interdependence and connection to each other we will soon lose our ability to act on others behalf without conscious decision-making. A society where independence is praised, where every man for himself has become a virtue and not a cowardice, where acts of kindness and service are anomalies and not normalities is where we are headed. This is not a world I want to live in or leave behind for future generations to have to fix. It is up to us to reverse this cycle, to permeate our world with love, kindness, service, and understanding that stretches beyond simple gestures and into the collective consciousness that steers our lives.
Let us all take the opportunity on a date that is singularly unique and something we will never see again to begin transforming our world. Let us take sad and negative stories like the one above and replace them with stories of heroism, compassion, kindness, and service. Start with ourselves, our own consciousness, our own actions and allow that impact to spread to our friends, our city, our country, and then our world. 12-12-12 can be the start of something new, something wonderful and something transformational for us all. What will you do today to honor and understand your connection to the whole of humanity? How will you spread this message today and beyond?
Happy 12-12-12 everyone!