I am standing out on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade looking across the East River toward the Manhattan skyline, anxiously awaiting the fireworks display for this Fourth of July celebration. I am one in a crowd of hundreds, ultimately thousands, who have gathered to watch the fireworks along the East River. Moms, dads, kids, old, young, brown, black, white, straight, gay, athletic, disabled, fat, skinny, beautiful. My English language is only one of many I can hear. All kinds of minds, all kinds of beliefs – Zen, Christianity, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, educated, street smart, crazy, sweet, stupid, teachers, professors, city workers, janitors, executives, stay at home moms, entrepreneurs, preachers, rabbis, etc, etc. Sun dresses, short shorts, pants, sari’s, dresses, workout clothes, business attire…..what have I missed? I stood humbled that I was part of this gathering. Part of this world. Part of the human race right here in New York City.
Everyone was here to celebrate, to be excited by a fireworks show. To show their kids what we do on the 4th of July, to experience the American dream of independence, to just hang out, to get out of their hot apartments, to not be alone, to take a date, meet someone, or relive the childhood experience. Again, I was overwhelmed that here I was, this solo girl – one of many – part of this amazing crowd. Then this thought came to me. If we can all be here together peacefully, why can’t we accept each other’s differences and just love each other? Why can’t we toss out our prejudices, our preconceived ideas and passed-on judgments of other people and just accept that we are all one and the same – just different? It was a powerful thought to me. Then I realized that in a place like NYC, when you are confronted with the diversity of humans, you must certainly grow in tolerance of the differences and to understand and accept them more (or maybe I am being naive here?). Whatever. I am thankful to see this from this perceptive and share with you my realization that if we open up the horizons of our mind and hearts to embrace more than just people like ourselves, we not only do ourselves a great service, but we help to bring unity to the world. Just saying…
Peace and Love