It’s the proud look in the eyes of a parent as they watch their children being kind to a friend. It’s the fulfillment in a person’s voice as they talk about working overtime so their family can have a better lifestyle in the future. Its that feeling of belonging and community that wells up inside as a dear friend thanks you for helping in their time of need.
I’ve witnessed this positive energy in the souls of people throughout the baking deserts of the Middle East, the lush jungles of the Amazon, the snow-covered Alps, the white-washed towns dotting the Mediterranean coast, the frigid winter streets of New York City, the forgotten trailer parks of the deep south, and the sprawling suburbs all over modern America. People worldwide fundamentally strive for the same goal in life–they want to feel valued in their community and build a better future.
The differences arise in how people define their community, how they feel they can add value to their community, and how they think they can provide a better world for the future of mankind. Everybody learns a set of values, either intentionally taught to them by somebody or through their own observation and study, and through those values decisions, habits, behaviors, and lifestyles are formed.
Some people shape their definition of community around geography, faith, or work; others shape it around passions (blogging!), hobbies (LARPing!), or shared experiences (marathon finishers!) to name a few. For some, adding value to the community means planting trees at the local park; for others it means cutting down trees to construct a little-league baseball field. Similarly, building a better future for some means working two jobs to pay for the material lifestyle of the next-higher social class; for others it means being subsistence farmers off the grid so they can maximize free time with their family and reduce their ecological footprint providing a greener planet for future generations.
We should not attack people’s expression of our shared life goal, rather if we disagree with how they are attempting to reach our shared goal we should try to visualize the world through their set of experiences which shaped their values, and collaboratively bridge the gap between different sets of values that have developed. Only through this method can we maximize our contributions to community in its largest sense: the world population.
Bottom Line: Everybody fundamentally has the same life goal: they want to feel valued in their community and build a better future. The differences arise in how people express that shared goal.
Did you find this post interesting? If so, check out our website at www.minmylife.org. If the subject material of this blog post caught your attention, I recommend reading our post on choice awareness.
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