The one about the globe
When I was young, I was obsessed with a toy globe. It was such a joy to spin it around and dream of places that I’d visit someday. Botswana? Sure. Madagascar? Why not? Iceland? Let’s do it. Little did I know that this would inspire me to fill up my passport and explore the outdoor world. But recently, I realized that I hadn’t taken the same time to explore my inner world.
This past year, I’ve been reflecting on my dad’s initial diagnosis with cancer and his subsequent passing. I finally flipped the pages to the books he’s been nagging me to read — books on breathing, spirituality, and humanity.
As I complete text after text, I’m starting to understand what he’s been trying to teach me this whole time.
For those who know me, organized religion and I have had a fraught relationship. I remember attending bible camp when I was a kid, and I was forced to believe that the cranberry juice in front of me was the blood of Christ. When I stated otherwise, I was suddenly ostracized from the group.
The experience left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended); since then, I’ve shied away from religion. Similarly, when my dad talked about esoteric concepts like spirituality and consciousness, I also shied away.
How does this relate to the globe?
Well, it saddens me to see how divisive our world is becoming. The political left, the political right, pro-vaccination, anti-vaccination, anti-Asian hate, Black Lives Matter, the list goes on and on.
I wonder if this social strife is happening because of the continuing divide between haves and have-nots. Or perhaps it is also because we are starting to draw deeper lines in our world between “us” and “them”. There are certainly a lot of factors at play here.
But what if there was a better way? What if we realize that we are all connected? What if we conducted our lives not through the lens of fear and anger but through the lens of kindness and love?
I get the sense that there is a deeper layer to our lives beyond the physical self. This is starting to show up in our everyday vernacular — words like “good vibes”, “instinct”, and even “intuition”.
To our intellectual selves, these words don’t align with how we’ve been taught to interpret the world. They didn’t make any sense to me either.
But as I start to observe and see the world around me, I can’t help but think that there may be some truth to what my dad has been trying to get me to see all along.
Maybe things aren’t necessarily as black and white as it seems. Instead, there are a lot of greys and a lot more nuance in between. Maybe my dad was right. Maybe there is indeed a deeper layer beyond our physical and mental world. And perhaps we are all connected, somehow.