There are people that will come in and out of our lives…and while we may notice there absence, it is my hope that we will not miss the lesson in the experience. We are often saddened by the loss, whether it is through death or people just moving forward. It is my hope that with this we can eventually rally around what they contributed to our lives…be it something profound…or something as simple as teaching us to laugh at the things that don’t kill us. 

   Laughing at adversity allows us to own whatever the stimulus might be…it makes us pro-active instead of reactive. Most people consider reactions to mean we were caught off guard…where as being pro-active infers that we were always ready for anything that may come our way. It gives us strength in the eyes of others…and re-instills the ideas that we are blessed and highly favored. Who doesn’t feel more secure with the knowledge that we are not alone?

  Life can definitely send some jabs and upper cuts our way…but the question is simple…are we so busy trying to patch up the injury that we no longer are looking for the next blow? Did we learn the lesson? There are those people who just sit and wait for the opportunity to present itself…and the opportunity usually tends to be isolation.

   You may say that you aren’t isolated…but let’s re-examine that thought. You may be physically surrounded with numerous people…you have more contacts in your cell phone than most people get holiday cards from…but are you free of isolation? It’s is ironic that these people are called contacts…yet very few actually touch us.

   What is isolation? Generally speaking, isolation occurs when a person sets themselves apart or cuts themselves off from others. You might still think that you don’t do this…but do you? How many people on your contact list…are you truly touched by; keeping in mind that “contact” generally means the state or condition of touching?

   Do you isolate yourself from what happens around you? Do you turn off the news or ignore news articles about things that you find disturbing or negative? Many people do. It can be emotionally taxing to watch how others suffer everyday…perhaps looking the other way will allow us to go on with our day, at least. Who really wants to read or watch stories about homelessness, or crime? Who wants to hear day and day out about the famine in Horn of Africa…and who can bear to see those poor children dying? We have our own problems…and I do not think for one moment that people who think this way are callous or uncaring. They are human. But they are humans who have chosen to isolate themselves.

   Why do you think that so many people rallied around the recently executed Troy Davis? After all, he was found guilty of killing Mark MacPhail…why did he deserve any support? My best guess is this; Troy Davis…showed us that people are not expendable. I don’t think that anyone was supporting a murderer…they were supporting a human being. People gathered together by the groves…to unite for a common cause…to love their fellow man. Troy Anthony Davis woke people up. He made us look at our justice system with clarity…as if we had been walking around in a daze for centuries. Even if for just that moment…we didn’t want to isolate people. We actually wanted contact. We wanted people to know us…and us them.

  From this…conversations started…not just angry debates…but calm intellectual conversations. We started talking about everything! We wanted to know more. If you had a situation that was causing your frustration…I wanted to know about it. Your life began to matter to me. Even if for just one moment…we started remembering that we are supposed to love each other. Inadvertently, we began to “Occupy our Hearts”. The ice around our veins began to slowly melt. It was beautiful.

  Troy Davis reminded us that true justice will only occur when balancement exists. When the scales are tilted…it does not solve anything. He reminded us that only when we live in a society where we are not prejudged for some physical, financial, or religious difference will true justice happen.

  Ultimately, if we were to try and say that these biases do not exist…we are only further proving the fact that we are living in isolation.

  When this world was created…it was populated with living organisms that were molded to our Creator’s liking. We were chosen to live here…and we were chosen because we are all compatible. We can all live here harmoniously…if we so choose. Our problem has never been that we are not being able to love each other; the only problem is our own pre-conceived notions that we are better than another being. We are highly evolved creatures…we have learned how to communicate…we have invented machines to make life simpler. We have sent man and woman into space. We have raised children who would become future diplomats and literal geniuses. Yet we are the only living organisms that refuse to live together…without trying to destroy each other. There are millions of species of animals…that get along better than we do. And we will be the ONLY group of living organisms…who place themselves on the endangered species list. We would rather kill each other off into distinction than to learn how to live harmoniously.

  This is not the end of our story…but if we don’t make changes…it very well could be. Love life…make changes…say hello to someone you have never met. Hold a door open for a complete stranger…get to know your neighbors. Embrace your differences…you might learn something that will enhance your life. You may touch another person by just smiling at them. Encourage the conversation; offer each other loving solutions to a world full of problems. Take the initiative; it is what God has been waiting for all along. If we spend more time building bridges…we can spend less time building prisons.

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