With all of the change going on in the world, I started to wonder what it would be like to have the ability to literally be another person for an entire day; a day in the life of…fill in the blank. Some variations on this theme are illustrated when Mel Gibson was able to hear women’s inner dialogue all day in the movie, What Women Want or in movies where people have body swapped.
If I were a transgendered person for a day, would I feel safe? Would I feel secure? Would I discover that I am more like he/she and he/she is more like me than different? If I were a person of color would I have similar fears, worries, triumphs or preoccupations, or would they be different? If I were third class or first class would I love differently or believe vastly differently? Would my mind and heart be filled with similar themes or very different themes?
If I were a Trump family member, would I, could I relate to any of his/her thoughts? If I were Ivanka for a day, would her fears, worries, hopes goals or concerns resonate with me woman to woman or human to human? Or would I be shocked by her inner thoughts and beliefs? What if I were a Republican for a day? What if I were an out of work miner, a disabled Veteran, a Muslim, an atheist, an African Chief, a monk, a priest, a prison inmate, a homeless person, a person born into wealth or person dependent on disability?
I am familiar with being a woman, a person who has cerebral palsy, a person who is middle class, a person who is single, a person with no children, a person that believes and behaves like a social worker, but would I understand someone very different from me? Would I find compassion for someone very different from me that does not want or need my support? I have known what it is like to receive charity. I have known what it is like to grow up in a home that did not receive child support. I know what it feels like to not have health insurance. I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. What are all of the things I do not know, I do not feel, experience or understand?
I will not know understand or relate to people if I never try to understand them nor will they understand me. I know there are people that I try to understand more than others. I support the underdog, teachers that make little money and work 10 hours a day. I surround myself with people that believe the most like me. I deeply relate with women, animal lovers, single parents, children and helping professionals.
There are times when I just can’t agree with people, like the people that do not believe in global warming, but I want to learn to come from an open heart and make decisions from a wise-mind versus an emotional fear-based place. I desire a Groundhog Day like Bill Murray in the movie with a culture I am most fearful or judgemental of. I could not wake up until I understood a person deeply and my fears were released and my heart expanded. I know there is strength in our differences and comfort where we overlap. Would you embrace a Groundhog day?