We live in a world of distraction; the abundance of mediums and means for looking outward has made it infinitely easier to focus on everything but ourselves. Chats, likes, tweets, posts, status, there are endless ways to have a conversation with strangers but the more we talk, the less we have conversations that heal. Depth has been replaced by shallow exchanges, in the age of social media the chase for quantity has replaced for quality connections.
Here is one thing I have learned over my years, all of us, irrespective of our background or place of origin, have scars that we are trying to mend from. We don’t need to walk a mile in the shoes of others to understand hurt, our own soles bear the marks of past pains and experiences that robbed us of our once innocence. There is no need to compare struggles nor does it profit any of us to believe that our burdens are more than the suffering others bear.
This same universality of suffering that seems so onerous is also a source of hope. All of us are walking the same path when it comes to seeking redemption. The worst feeling in the world, when going through our darkest moments, is the belief that we are alone. But the truth is that we are all interconnected by adversity; after all, pain is a universal language that is felt by paupers, princes and all in between. The way to mend is not to withdraw but to share our challenges and success with others. Click To Tweet
I’ve been reflecting on these things over the past couple of days. I’ve gained a small following for my political and social articles, but the more I write about the ills of our society, the further away I seem to drift away from peace of mind. I know why of course, focusing on the problems of the world has a way of imbuing ennui in our hearts. Even in the most hopeless situations, it is an imperative to always find something to be grateful for.
Moreover, the more I analyze politics and the currency it holds in society, the more I realize that it too is just another form of distraction. I’m not advocating that we bury our heads in the sand, but spending all our time bickering about politics only serves to obfuscate our shared journeys. A wise man once said that we have to be the change we want to see in the world. If our aim is for society to mend and for humanity to heal, all of us must start that process within us.
Maybe we should spend less time trying to prove points and instead share more of our stories. We all have struggles that we endure and challenges that we have overcome, these moments of our lives can give hope to others and be less weighty for ourselves as we tell them.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~ Philo
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.