By Penny Randell
Challenging as it appears, speculating upon what we might have become with less emotional impact from our family and peers would certainly prove to be embracing and restoring; enlivening at the least. Accessing the bits and pieces from our earliest memory bank can provide a blueprint of sorts, which can reveal not only our appearance, but also our mindset and disposition when we were youngsters. The “golden rule” is a handy tool that can aid in the discovery of beginning thought patterns and beliefs. When we were told to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us,” did we see the others to be just like us? Did we notice their clothing or their hair? Did we ask them why their skin was a different color, or if their parents were wealthy? I think not. Upon investigation of such matters, studies clearly indicate that early recollections of peer perception were constructed more on sameness than anything else. Seemingly, differentiation among pre-school children does not originally exist. In fact, children in their primary extension of self and interaction are more engrossed in the difficulties of sharing, and that alone supersedes most other concerns.
When I first moved to East Africa, I was undeniably taken aback by most everything I saw, heard, smelled or tasted. Long before the actual journey began my efforts in preparations were diligently, intense and I convinced myself I had left no stone unturned. But, that was far from accurate because of the preconceived theories and expectations I had developed through various accounts. Although shift in culture was the basis for many of my awakenings, their unexpected likeness to every human I had ever met amazed me most. Shamefully, I too believed Africans were a people who thought and behaved in a sphere far removed from my own. I was confident that their introspection centered only on money, food and water. Never once did I contemplate an indulgence in softer sentiments, such as compassion or noticeable good will. Even the emotion of jealousy was alive and commonly exhibited among women regarding a man, in the interest of love.
These truths, including the Arab Spring, demand our attention in recognizing what could be the beginning a new era in world history. Never before have we as one collective species been so vastly familiar with one another. When the events of world wars entered the motion picture era, the horrors of combat were brought to stark comprehension by most for the first time. Actual visualization of the brutal stories originally communicated by radio brought new appreciation to human life and a consciousness never before realized in such intensity. Most recently some anthropologists maintain that a shift in human paradigm is consuming the planet as we become privy, or even forced, to perceive ourselves as one. In keeping with such theories, including all appearances, the very path of human existence has ascended to a higher level of knowing.
With the eclipse of antiquated shadows by the gradual, yet persistent transparency of our human partners values must change, as tolerance will surely broaden. It remains not much more than common sense that a new world order of sharing resources must be realized and eventually implemented if we all plan to keep eating and drinking water. Just as vital and accurate as my transforming message: the African people are no different from anyone in my American world, so is the factuality of the oneness of man. To embrace the idea of the human family, universal futuristic insight will have a chance to disclose the avenues of wisdom that can afford light to the humans we never even knew existed, let alone mattered.