I have just walked home after dropping my daughter to school. As I walked through town and then the park, it struck me how unhappy most people looked; some were looking stressed, some looked vacant, but most of all it just seemed that everyone was making a huge effort to be someone…and probably failing to meet their own ideal self-image. Being someone takes energy. It’s an internal battle. It means dressing in particular way, communicating who we are in a particular way, having our own particular thoughts cycling around in our head, and driving towards this fantasy all day long.
It struck me in particular when I passed by a group of about 30 French students. Of course what they all had in common was that they were French, and that they were visiting Cardiff. Whilst each was conforming to a dress code and trying to fit in, each one of them also made sure that they maintained their individuality, whether it was in the way they walked, the way they looked at each other with a smile or frown, or the particular choice of clothes and hair style.Watch movie online Get Out (2017)
This then led me to start thinking about ant hills! Anyone who’s watched a David Attenborough programme, will have seen how communities of animals such as ants, are in effect one large organism. By some miracle of chemical signalling, a kind of anternet, they find a common purpose and each individual knows what to do in contributing to the needs of the community.
How would it be, if we dropped some of our individuality, and made more effort to get a sense of humanity as a functioning, dynamic whole?
So this is quite easy to try out. Next time you take a walk, whether that’s down the street or through the office, if you can, and if only for a minute, just drop all concepts of who you are. Just for a minute, be nobody. For that short while, try to cultivate the sense that every human you see is just like you, and part of one, multi-particled human organism.
My experience of this exercise, is that it quite naturally cultivates a sense of empathy and kindness. How would it be if there was a bit more of a sense of inter-dependence, a bit more cultivation of compassion, and a bit less individuality and self obsession? A bit more trust and a bit less fear, a bit more peace and a bit less war…and it starts here, now, with us.