My neighbor's fence blew down about a week ago in the middle of a very windy night. So, until it's repaired, the physical boundary between our yards is gone. Of course, like so many boundaries, it's entirely artificial. This is my property and that's yours. Same on the other two sides, and the street in the front is another boundary. Mine, yours. Without people to mark property lines and maintain structures, however, it would quickly become apparent that all of this is just land. It's all the same land.
I began to wonder about other boundaries that we deeply believe in -- political, religious, economic, social, gender, age, and on and on. We build our fences with the conviction that this barrier separating us is just based on TRUTH. FACT. REALITY.
Some boundaries make sense, as in we all need and want a roof over our head, a safe, secure place to call our own, and we need food, water and air to breathe. Those things are the foundation of Maslow's pyramid. But as we move up in status, whether political, economic or social, we lose touch with what it is we all share. What do we all have in common? No matter what separates us, our humanity unites us. But still we build boundaries. We build fences to protect what we worked to get. We want to keep it all to ourselves. We've forgotten that we are a community. We've forgotten that we all live or die together.
We've forgotten that "it" (whatever it is) doesn't belong to us. The land isn't something we own. The air or sunlight isn't ours. We don't own our ancestry, our history or any of the things we believe in to make us unique.
Of course, you are you and I am me. Separate, right? Physically, yes. But when we examine the deeply held boundaries that we hold so dear and that divide us so bitterly, they begin to blow over like fences in the wind. Those boundaries are subjective, man-made and mutable.
Check your beliefs this week. Where do they come from? Are they keeping you from connecting with someone you think is so very different from you? What well worn pathway are you walking? If you took a different way, would that pathway disappear?