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Beyond race, creed, color, nationality and personal narratives there is a universal humanity. Where is this? How do you go there?

The Martin Luther King speech which introduced into the zeitgeist the vision of children from different backgrounds and ethnicities all walking together holding hands on their way to school. This is a mental construct that I can create. In holding this image something in me is able to clarify and remind me of my place, of the framing that mentally makes available the mind of non-judgement.

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    Aug 10 2011: By touching someone's heart. :)
    • Aug 14 2011: Could you give a picture of what that looks like?
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        Aug 14 2011:
        Any smile, any given song with this attitude, it's hard to say really but that's totally dependent on each individual person. Just open your heart and LISTEN to other people's hearts.
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          Aug 15 2011: Dear Silvia,
          Thanks for that link.
          Listening to the song gave me the chills and brought tears to my true
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    Aug 11 2011: Schools are definitely the place. If you want to change something, change the children. In my public high school in New York City, while you can see racial and economic cliques formed, there's definitely an appreciation of diversity and understanding. Kids, forced to interact, eventually come to befriend and rely on each other. And that's where they start to branch out from their respective bubbles and touch other cultures, and form the beginnings of that global relationship we hope to have some day. But it starts with kids, getting to meet and appreciate different people.
    • Aug 11 2011: Beside math, language, science, there might need to be another core subject being taught in high schools: global peace.
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    Aug 11 2011: Hi Johnny Cude...good question!
    I believe that universal humanity is in all of us, and the way to recognize it, is to peel off all the layers of hate and discontent we have built up as societies and as individuals.

    I learned a valuable lesson as a very young child with parents living in different polarities. My mother was unconditionally loving, non-judgemental, kind, respectful, open hearted and open minded to everyone and everything. She was a person who lived with integrity, humor and joy no matter what was happening in her world. My father was a racist, bigot, angry, violent, abusive person. He feared everyone who was different from him, or had different thoughts, feelings, ideas, or beliefs. As a child, I observed the impact these two people had on themselves and others around them, and I made a choice regarding how I wanted to "be" in this world.

    My life has been, and continues to be rich because I open my heart and mind to everyone, and recognize the similarities we share. The differences are a gift, in my perception, because I learn something I would not have learned in any other way. I would NEVER deny myself the opportunity to connect with people or ideas that may be different from what I already think I know.

    So, my perception is that universal humanity is not a place we need to "go". It is a place we can choose to "be" in ourselves in every given moment. It is a matter of making a choice, and deciding for ourselves how long we want to live with the fear that prevents the recognition of universal humanity:>)
    • Aug 14 2011: Colleen, I always like your comments. From your comments I get that you built a kind of choosing muscle in your brain as you contrasted or journeyed between your parents polar views. I can see by your smiling muscules on your cheek bones that you chose the high ground more often than not.
      If I said, what do you see in your minds eye when you mediate and see this Universal humanity. Do you see everyone standing beside each other. Some people of greater import standing on a high plateau, where are the less fortunate, or do you see everyone standing on level ground, or something totally different.
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        Aug 14 2011: Thank you Johnny...good perception...yes...I built a "choosing muscle" in my mind and heart:>) I have the same image as you Johnny, of children walking hand in hand. We are all grown up children, who have been taught various beliefs, and as informed adults, we have choices regarding how we use the information we were given as children. If children have not been taught to fear others because of differences, then they will probably all go to the playgroud and play, without prejudice.

        In my perception, we are all teachers and students in this earth school. We play out different roles, so at any given time, we may appear to be higher or lower in our societies, but ultimately, I see us all as one, striving to be all that we can be throughout this life adventure. Even when mediating with convicted felons, I could always find some ground on which we could stand together. There is ALWAYS something we can connect with. We all share the same emotions, and many of the same thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions. That which is different, offers an opportunity to learn and grow in ourselves and with each other, so that is our commonality. When we reject others because of fear, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn something different.
        • Aug 14 2011: You are an example of why I find myself in the TED community pages nearly every day. . . there is a power in being in conversation with people who believe what you believe. . . you are one of those people for me :)

          It is true we are all teachers and we are all students, every day in every interaction and experience. I just quoted Rachel Naomi Remen on my FB page from a PBS production called A New Medicine

          ‎"healing is about the will to live - its about collaborating with someone with something in someone that they may not even be aware is there, strengthening it- calling it forward" Rachel Naomi Remen

          in the process of healing we are healed. . . this is the oneness you speak of, to me.
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        Aug 15 2011: Thank you Autumn,
        That is what keeps me coming back to TED as well. I agree with you that there is power in the conversations we are having here on TED.

        Yes...that is the oneness I speak of...we are healing and the healers at the same time...students and teachers...we all have the opportunity to help support each other in our life journey...when/if we are open to the possibilities:>)
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    Aug 11 2011: Interesting question. I guess mine is related to reading. Of course there should be guidelines to choose among books. But reading caused ( still causes) my own personal enlightenment.I beleive that if we learn to think wih empathy then it is easier for us to build our own humanity values.
    • Aug 14 2011: Erol, thanks for responding. As a researcher of social cues, how do you cues yourself when you think of empathy. Do you go to memories of times when you saw the effectiveness of empathy, what is the clearest image you have read or experienced that brings about this state.
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    Aug 11 2011: Move to Vancouver, Canada.


    I don't think the question is "How do we go there?"

    I think the question is, "How do we not leave there?"
    • Aug 14 2011: Thomas, thanks for commenting. So you think we are already there in this 'natural place' and somehow get lost from this Universal humanity. What is the image that holds for you a representation of this natural place.
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        Aug 14 2011: Hi Johnny,

        Well, I don't think there is a place so much as an ability to accept things "as they are."

        When we live in isolation from one another a natural outcome of this is prejudice. We feel a natural affinity for people who are like us and we feel some trepidation for people who are different.

        This tendency manifests quite early in life.

        My niece, who is just under two years of age, cries whenever she sees me. I am Caucasian. She is Asian. I do not look like her mom and dad - or anyone else she has ever met. (I live in China.)

        However, given a little time, she will get used to me and the way I look.

        So while we do have an early predisposition to react to people who look differently than we do, with exposure to others, we quickly overcome it and it then takes effort to maintain our fear of those who are not like us.

        I mention Vancouver because, if you go to the schools there, there are people from everywhere, white, yellow, brown, black, red, and every conceivable blend. The kids are worried about if they are wearing the right clothes not if their skin is the right colour.

        To quote from Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific:

        You've got to be taught
        To hate and fear,
        You've got to be taught
        From year to year,
        It's got to be drummed
        In your dear little ear
        You've got to be carefully taught.

        You've got to be taught to be afraid
        Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
        And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
        You've got to be carefully taught.

        You've got to be taught before it's too late,
        Before you are six or seven or eight,
        To hate all the people your relatives hate,
        You've got to be carefully taught!
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    Aug 11 2011: I like this

    "a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known".

    It doesn't have to be grandiose.
    It just takes a tiny piece of work from everyone
    and a little joy
    to wash over the cynicism
    we use to feel a little short term comfort.
    when we are unsure.
  • Aug 10 2011: the thing i always thought about this is that evryone should start with himself, start by looking at people as people, african people are not all black, and not ell the japanees are small, and not all jamaika likes reaggae, if we stop considering people as countries and ideas and dresses and languages, maybe we we'll have some time left for looking at the great humanity we've created, it doesn't work like religion: believe and everything will be alright, here we need to understand, to feel the fact that each one of the human being has something different to offer, that something is what can make a one big happy humanity
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    Aug 10 2011: Humanity is universal, but so is diversity. The issue is not whether we recognize diversity, but rather how it is dealt with…Cultural differences and realities are normal and healthy - diversity mandates are not. When we are focused on service more than self, matters of diversity become less of an issue. The diversity argument is divisive and only serves to enable dependence on rationalizations and justifications more than contribution. Don’t attempt to make a case for anything by playing the diversity card, play the I’m qualified card. Compete on your merits not why your lack thereof should be overlooked. If we stop identifying ourselves based on diversity segment, and identify ourselves by accomplishments and character the world will be a better place.
    • Aug 14 2011: Mike thanks for commenting, Your comment reminds me of an ancient egyptian drawing where everyone is busy but also smiling, working in the fields, the kitchens and in the courtyard. everyone is working for the greater whole. but I agree about diversity mandates. I am in favor of distributing the opportunity for education to everyone but not mandating it on institutions. However, those who promote and provide education to those in greatest need are serving the greatest good. To bring the underprivilidged and down troddden into their own resourcefulness will always present challenges that communitites can address better than institutions.
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    Sep 1 2011: Hi Johnny I think the very essence of humanity is to realise that nobody is better than others. how do i go there, i think a simple word(not love)-- empathy(it takes efforts to practise it). I dont pretend that is easy.
    and i dont not to think that one could be 100% non-judgemental all the time towards everything (or everyone) even if you want.
  • Aug 23 2011: I strongly believe that peace starts within ourselves. If we have it in our harts it will comes out naturally,we don't have to look for it on anywhere else but inside our hearts.
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    jag .

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    Aug 15 2011: Hey Johnny, these are questions I used to ask myself, and an author that helped me with answers to these questions is Eckhart Tolle, I highly recommend his a book 'a new earth'. Hes a spiritual teacher who explains it in a simple way, and also by getting you to experience it. An example would be to close your eyes and wonder what your next thought is going to be (without thinking), this brings about an 'emptiness' if you do it for about 10 or more seconds whilst your doing it.

    Another one from the sedona method is to ask yourself 'what is here now', and keep asking and going deeper until you can feel the presence/peace that you are, which is under all emotion, thoughts.

    So maybe instead of holding an image, you could BE the inner space, which is at the centre of humanity :)
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      Aug 15 2011: Hi Jag,
      I haven't read "A New Earth", but another good one by Eckhart Tolle is "The Power of Now".

      GREAT idea to "BE" the inner space...I like that:>)
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        jag .

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        Aug 15 2011: Hey Colleen, yh thats a great book too. Katie Byron's books are great aswell, at the moment I have a book by David R Hawkins which is useful for being more present

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    Aug 14 2011: It's in one's heart , one's mind.
    Very easy to go and very difficult as well. It's actually again at one's hand.
    Only thing needed I feel is keeping mind open despite of risks sudden gush of wind of any prejudice can shut the door to keep mind blocked and claustrphobic.
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    Aug 13 2011: Where is this?

    In the human heart.

    How do go there?

    By choosing to open your heart in some way to every person you make contact with - by developing a habit of opening your heart.
    • Aug 14 2011: Bob thanks for your comment. My studies are in the use of images rather than words as the means for self direction. I'm trying to mine the mind of the public, find out the images they use to navigate the higher frames which hold up humanity. Got an image or images that work for you.
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        Aug 14 2011: Johnny, I use a lot of metaphors and images in my teaching and counseling to explain how to get body and mind working together so we see each other more clearly and are able to keep our hearts open. I am currently writing a second edition of the text I use in my class and am posting chapters to my website for feedback as I finish them. I use images of sunburn, springs and a zoom lens to describe the effects of tension on mind and emotion. I am currently working on the chapter on perception where I use metaphor of frames, filters and focus from photography to illustrate how we define our version of what we believe reality to be. Please send me an email if you would like the password to view these chapters.
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    Aug 11 2011: i started my own similar topic mintues i do feel like there should be a universal society. and i think all the intelligent people should join this and start it, i do believe we are alot and could start to clean politics wit hthis movement. evolution of the modern man. The Cosmospolitan should be born. We are children of the cosmos. citizens of the cosmos. we should have a uniserval laws and freedoms
    • Aug 14 2011: Danile, exactly! What picture reminds you that we are a universal society, what is the picture that shows society as Universal. the mental image?
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    Aug 11 2011: (1) translate and contribute the power of our beliefs and convictions into the simple universal language of our mutual interests and wield it as a driving force to transform our world and (2) we energize our hearts, we energize each other, we energize our hearts and minds and help transform our world (, NGOs, UN, international forums, etc.)

    This is the challenge to leave our mark and our legacy in this troubled world. We take stock of our current power and influence and see what part of our solutions we can push and together we shall transform our world and leave a lasting and happy legacy for our children.
    • Aug 14 2011: Great words. Joe thanks for responding, could you reply to this question, what do you see mentally when you think internally on the concept of mutual interests.
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    HJ Tan

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    Aug 11 2011: To realize the fact that we, as humans are not as different and seperated as we imagine. We share all the basic needs that brings meaning to life, to be loved, cared, and understood.