Monday, June 14, 2010

WE Are All The Same: One. Hard to Accept.


In John Perkins' powerful book Shapeshifting: Shamanic Techniques for Global and Personal Transformation, a common thread that connected the shaman healers from several different countries that he worked with was the message that we all are the same, that all of us are equal regardless of our titles, position, wealth, health, attitudes, or religion. On the outside, this seems like a noble statement that many of us repeat and would like to believe, but on the inside I doubt that we truly think this is the reality. It is very hard to adopt this as the truth when in almost every society we promote the notion that some of us are better, more important than others.

At a recent business event where I spoke, I had presented this idea as one worthy of our discussion — that the benefits of breaking down the stereotypes of this “superiority” could be incredible, leading to improved morale and productivity in the workplace and a more enjoyable existence in the outside world. I mentioned how I have been attempting to consciously catch my thoughts of judgment regarding my role in society, let's say compared to a hotel maid. Erroneously, we have looked at people in the service industries with less respect, which is so sad and even hurtful to ourselves and the other person. For over 15 years now I have made it a personal mission to try and look into the eyes and smile at every hotel worker that I can, and in essence become them for a moment. Who knows what we could learn from anyone if we had the chance to sit as equals vs. the often accepted attitude that because one makes more money, or has an entitled position, that they are better than someone else.

After the lecture, an executive approached me and candidly said he has a hard time looking at a taxi driver as an equal. As one with an MBA and a salary exceeding $200,000 per year, I could sense he felt the need to believe, because he had pushed himself to succeed, that he was at a higher level than someone who took the lazy way out and drove others around for a living. I shared with him the story I go into detail about with the Korean taxi driver on my audio tape How to Stay Mentally Fit & Incredibly Productive. This driver was so deep, insightful and successful in more ways than I could have ever imagined had I not gotten into a fantastic conversation with him. That day opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at others. How could I look at him as someone less than me when he had so much to share? And on another trip, I had three different drivers, all between 35 and 60 with amazing backgrounds: a retired professor of philosophy, a person who sold his home to live on the beach and finally enjoy life with a job that gave him flexible hours, and a newly retired businessman who sold his company and wanted to stay mentally fresh by interacting with people daily. Yet, our first instinct is often to judge the taxi driver unfairly as one below us . . . one who is less than we are.

We all are the same. Searching for ourselves. The sooner we begin to accept all others equally, the sooner our world will turn into a brighter, more joyful place. Respect everyone, starting today.


If you believe this article can help someone you know, please pass it on.
Search. Grow. Love.

LOve, peace, david

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