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Take Care Of Each Other

I was recently in New York City for a day with my wife and we headed below ground to hop a subway since it is the fastest way to move around.  We got into the subway car and sat down and I noticed two young men with drums.  My immediate reaction, voiced to my wife was a version of:  “Shit, my bad luck to now be trapped in a subway car and forced to listen to crappy music and then get hit up for a donation to boot.”  She chastised me, telling me that my negative attitude was totally unwarranted and that the music would probably be great.  As the doors shut and the music began I was very pleasantly surprised.  The drummers were indeed excellent, and their rhythm was soothing, changing my mood from a “New York state of mind” - hostile, aggressive, and on edge - to peaceful and calm.  As the doors opened and passengers filed out I happily gave my donation, grateful for the mood transformation that I experienced.  I of course was reflecting upon how foolish I was to prejudge things with such a negative bent and how wise my wife was.  And then, as if that wasn’t enough, one of the drummers called out to us exiting passengers “Have a great day and take care of each other.”

The words “take care of each other” have stayed with me ever since and I ponder upon them every single day.  Mostly, I wonder why it is we humans continue to allow barriers such as race, religion, and nationality to be erected between us, to divide us and to create the seeds of enmity – the “us versus them” mentality.  I wonder how amazing the world would be if we were able to redirect the resources currently invested in divisiveness, such as weapons, defense systems, military and espionage, and other institutions dedicated to division, and instead invest that in things that will bring joy to people – food, energy, housing, education, productivity, and most important peace and camaraderie.  What is wrong with us that we are so easily misguided into divisive thinking, and in judging each other so harshly?  Why is it that we are enamored with leaders who see the world divided, and then get fired up by their hostile rhetoric?

Take care of each other.

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