We Really Are the World

I was four years old when I told the first real lie to my mother. I had gotten mad because I couldn’t have a snack, so I kicked the refrigerator and the kick plate fell off. I had corrective shoes with steel toes that could land a blow.

As mom walked in to see what happened, she asked who was responsible. I pointed to my brother, who was barely one-year-old and sitting in a highchair.  Mom didn’t buy it for a minute, but she wasn’t going to call me a liar. So she gave me another chance to confess. I didn’t.

Some part of me felt that I was separate from my brother and a little guilt thrown his way wouldn’t hurt anybody. But it hurt me. Because I still remember it, and feel guilty for it. I’m sure it’s why I give refrigerators a wide berth when I walk past them.

Here’s the myth we tell ourselves every day – we are separate from everybody else. We are “us” and they are “them” and ne’er the twain shall meet. The problem is, that message isn’t true. We aren’t even solid entities. In fact, our bodies are made up of more space than matter and are tied together with the energy of constantly moving molecules and cells.

We can change other cells just by looking at them. A study showed that under observation snowflakes changed their structure depending upon who was observing them. Our energy can change other energy.

You know those black pupils in your eyes? They are black because they are comprised of all of the colors being taken in by the seer. Our bodies are built to interact, connect, and sense others.

Next time you hurt someone, know that your energy will be changed by it. Depending upon your level of guilt or fear or anger, your cells might begin to morph. Your heart might skip a beat, your pupils could dilate, your fear might cause you to sweat. And the person you hurt could be weakened by it, trying to understand the pain they feel.

Or you could do something kind, and your cells might start to strengthen, your body could relax, and your heart could grow three times its normal size. Okay, the last one came from the Grinch and could mean a severe heart problem, but it is poetic.

Everything we do affects everything around us. Come home stressed out, and your plants might be less healthy. I have about twenty dead plants that can attest to that truth. Get angry, and your dog might slink away, his heart racing and cells shifting because of your anger. Or cry, and your dog might lick your face and make you feel loved. Your cat will not really care either way.

But, despite all the messages telling us differently, we are not separate beings. We are one collective energy divided into clusters of cells that we call “me.” Our individual story matters, but it’s not comprised of matter. And how we live can either make those around us stronger or weaker.

Some people call it the golden rule, others call it karma, but it’s true: What we do to others, gets done to us. Maybe we should do more good things, apologize for the missteps, and be a source of positive energy. Because, the truth is, we really are the world.