Flowers have petals and each petal is an individual.
Trees have leaves and each leaf is an individual.
Humanity has people and each person is an individual.
The petal and leaf separate from the rest of the flower or tree wither and die.
We do not stand alone.
We individuals are a part of the whole.
The tree needs the sun and the rain and the earth.
It responds to wind and fire.
It gives shelter and food to other living things.
It is not a tree alone,
It is part of the ecosystem
That is part of the world
That is part of the universe.
The sun and the tree are one.
The tree and the squirrel are one.
The tree and the boy carving his initials in its bark are one.

We can go through life feeling separate.
We build our ego defenses and protect our toys and territories.
We make a name for ourselves.
We expound our truths.
And what we get for it is loneliness, alienation, conflict and disagreement.
When I claim this toy as mine, I invite you to take it.
When I stake out my territory, I invite you to step over the line.
When I claim to be leader of the pack, I invite challengers to test me.
Big ego invites conflict and disagreement.
Little ego gives nothing to fight against.
When we speak the truth, others listen.
When we claim to own the truth, others observe the lie.

Each of us is precious.
Each of us is unique.
Each has strengths and talents to develop.
We have our gifts and our flaws, and we each contribute to the whole.
We are individual and we are one.

Seek awareness of your connections.
Think about what makes you uniquely you
And what makes you like others.
Think of what makes your life possible.
Consider what you contribute to the whole.
Sit quietly and appreciate your oneness with all that is.
Leave behind words, judgments, categories and boundaries.
Be one.

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© 2004 Tom Barrett