I am man number 446,450 of 500,000. That doesn’t sound so impressive until you realize that Matt Damon, President Barack Obama, and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN are also members of this group of men.
I suspect one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn throughout my lifetime is to see how I am like other people. Before I learned that lesson, I constantly judged myself as different. Someone would say: “I have a hard time liking this or that.” My knee jerk response would always be: “I don’t!” This kind of thinking led me to a life of isolation, not only from you but also from myself. I learned that if I were ever going to escape this self-made prison, I would have to learn to identify with you and the other people in my life. I had to stop seeing myself as special.
Imagine my surprise when while listening to today’s TED Talk selection I heard Elizabeth Nyamayaro cite the following quote from Albert Einstein.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein
Einstein agrees with me! ? (Of course he came to this conclusion way before I did)
Actually, it is the above recognition that has led me to writing this blog. I figure that just like me, there are other individuals who are experiencing the same things I am and maybe we could grow together through this recognition. When I recognize how I’m alike, my behavior changes. I become as the above quote suggests more compassionate both for you and for myself. That life of compassion leads to acts like becoming man number 446,450.
Maybe you can become man number 446, 451 and make a commitment to do something compassionate for women as well as for men. Nyamayaro’s talk might just lead you to do this.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.