According to an online definition search, ‘connect’ means to join, providing access and communication. Connecting is also referenced as attaching to a supply, such as water or power. Connection, by this common use of the word, is not merely attaching two people together; it’s allowing one person to extend their access to another. How interesting!
I was driving in a painfully polite area. Where I live, merging into traffic is only considered ‘nice’ if it’s done where there is massive amounts of space and the car behind you doesn’t have to think about breaking. I was unable to follow this unposted, unspoken rule of the road and merged into the lane ahead of a car that, likely, had to tap his breaks. *Gasp* As I pulled into the lane, I defended against supposed accusation with, “It’s legally acceptable, and within my rights to merge here.”
Where was the connection to humanity lost?
In that moment, the one where I justified my actions using legality and inalienable rights, I lost all sense of how the other driver might be feeling and any sense of the consequences to his life. I objectified the other driver into a being that must put up with my driving.
You may have the same arguments going around in your head as I do – “But you had to merge.” “It was within legal guidelines to merge as you did.” “It wasn’t that great of an inconvenience to the other driver, and it wasn’t even remotely dangerous.” “If he’s upset by that, he needs to grow up.”
All those arguments are factually correct. If I did the same action in front of law enforcement, I would not receive a ticket. If he had bumped into the back of my car, he would’ve received the ticket. I will likely need to do this same action again, nearly daily.
So, what’s the issue?
I don’t have to defend. I can readily accept that it did probably inconvenience the driver behind me, even if only for half a second. It may have slightly frightened him. But even if he accepted my actions with no fright or inconvenience, any time I justify my actions as being within legal boundaries or within my rights, I am minimizing the effects of my actions on others. In the instant I claim legality or rights above another, I dehumanize them and their experience, severing the connection. This severs the human connection between us, and chips away at the connection to power and communication.
Connection, here, would be understanding that no matter the legality of an action, or the presence of my full right to do something, it will have an effect on others. Will it enhance the connection or diminish the connection? Being aware of my affect on others creates and maintains connection.
Photo Credit: Onyx Scopes, https://nappy.co/onyx-scopes
We are aware of the magnitude of this subject matter and the inadequate brevity of this post. For more, please reference our podcasts, our 1Community groups, or feel free to email us at Uniquelythesame@mission1race.org.
We also wish to address our inability to consider issues of sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse in our discussions on developing understanding and oneness. If you are in an abusive situation of any kind, we encourage you to seek professional and other help; and to realize that this content does not necessarily apply to your circumstances.