One of the greatest visions that I have is to foster an environment where anyone can exist in the way that they choose. I truly believe that we were all meant to be healthy and whole. Nothing is more valuable than having the permission, or having no need for approval at all, to merely be.
This isn’t possible by staying idle. Sometimes we will meet people who make choices not for themselves, but to simply survive. In these moments, it is vital to provide them the resources that they need in order to live again. Other times, we may find people unsure of what they desire. For them, it is essential to provide them the means that they need to start their own life journey. Every journey will be unlike the journeys taken before them. That means assisting each and every person, not by what worked best prior or what worked for other individuals, but by understanding their inimitable needs and adjusting our efforts accordingly. Some people, I have learned, need no intervention at all. In order to make room for variating existences and to welcome equity among the current inequality of our society, we should know how to be, not universal, but adaptable to the ever-changing circumstances of our community. Some are naturally who they want to be, and others must make a more profound effort to realize their eccentricity. Regardless of who they are or where they are at on the path towards discovery, they matter – and it is unfair to say we all matter without acknowledging the importance of each distinct person and their exclusive needs.
Inviting individuality, requires unique approaches. To be, in this world of chaos, involves different steps for different people. It is foolish to wish for a world where people are allowed to be unique from each other, but not recognize that people come from diverse backgrounds and bring with them needs dissimilar to our own. It is also unfair to think that we have the ability to provide what others need without understanding who we are and what we have to offer. Strengths and weaknesses vary from person to person – it does not make us less than or better than the next. We only need to appreciate these parts of ourselves and appreciate these parts of others. Without that consideration, we make it impossible to vibrate with the distinctive vibrations that unite to create the movement towards our ever evolving future.
Bishop Desmond Tutu, an inspirational speaker who recently passed away at the end of 2021, said, “differences are not intended to separate, or to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” It is this idea, the idea that we need each other’s differences, that will open up a world that feels breathlessly infinite.
We don’t need to have the same exact plan to understand the bigger picture. We just need to start with ourselves and to understand the responsibility that we have for others who depend on our strengths. While our strengths offer support to those struggling with their weaknesses, their strengths help our flaws too. To “be” means to show respect for those we share this world with. Let’s be encouraged to make the vision happen, let’s feel welcomed and empowered to make our unique efforts count.