We Are One

Christmas_Hill_Park_in_Gilroy_California_USA,_March_2017

Another senseless tragedy, this time at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.  At the end of the day on the last day of the festival, a white male entered Christmas Hill Park and started shooting. In a flash 3 people were killed, including a 6 year old boy, and many more were wounded.

On the other side of the country, I learned about it within minutes on Facebook. Friends posted their shock and disbelief, their concern for the victims.

I was shocked too. Gilroy was my home in the 1980s, where I worked, raised children, and made good friends. My home was a block from Christmas Hill Park. I volunteered at the Festival for several years. My first assignment as a city planner in Gilroy was to document a massive flood that impacted much of the city, including Christmas Hill Park.

After hearing news of the tragedy, I posted my personal connection to Gilroy and the Garlic Festival on Facebook, and read many similar messages from people who have even a tenuous connection to Gilroy.

Then it hit me.

Although most people are saddened by a tragedy, we feel a visceral connection when the tragedy “hits home” and touches a place or person we actually know. That’s when we want to share our stories and humanity where there were inhumane acts committed.

WeAreOne-MedI think it must be human nature. When we feel a connection, we can reach across the time and distance that divides us and reconnect with the victims. We are one.

It’s not yet human nature to empathize with the “other” — those we don’t feel a connection with.  I know, because I’ve watched my own empathy quotient rise as I’ve connected with people.

Before 2016, I had no connection to Sudan and probably couldn’t even place it on the map accurately. Then I met a Sudanese woman who made my Subway sandwich in Baltimore every week. We talked, we got together for dinner at each other’s homes, we shared a Christmas Eve together, and we bonded. Today, I can’t hear news about Sudan without thinking of my friend. I hope to visit her in Baltimore in a couple of weeks.

Before 2004, I had no connection with Palestine. That’s when I made my first trip to Gaza with a friend. (I’ve written about that trip on this blog, and it’s included in the book I’m writing.) I knew the Zionist messaging about the Israel-Palestine “conflict” but nothing more. Then my eyes and heart were opened.

I wish all Americans could open their eyes and heart and be one with the Palestinians in Gaza. Maybe I can because I lived there, I worked there, I visited there and I know people there. 

Maybe that’s why the U.S. State Department prevents Americans from traveling to Gaza; it doesn’t want Americans establishing a visceral connection with the Palestinians. Israel doesn’t want the world connecting either, which is clear from its 12 years blockading the 2+ million people in the Gaza Strip. 

Will homo sapiens evolve? Can we connect with each other as one, and leave the “us versus them” paradigm back in the savanna? I hope so.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Gaza, Peaceful, Spiritual - Religion, Uncategorized

6 responses to “We Are One

  1. Rita Lavin

    Don’t you just feel worn down?

    ‪On Mon, Jul 29, 2019 at 11:39 AM ‫لماذا غزة؟ Why Gaza?‬‎ wrote:‬

    > Lora Lucero posted: ” Another senseless tragedy, this time at the Garlic > Festival in Gilroy, California. At the end of the day on the last day of > the festival, a white male entered Christmas Hill Park and started > shooting. In a flash 3 people were killed, including a 6 year” >

    • Actually, I feel very worn down, and I’m not sure if it’s my age, my physical immobility now with a bum left leg/hip, the constant heartache I experience, or the very real news that we have only 12 years to reduce our carbon emissions (4 years to enact regulations to accomplish that). The totality of it all has really worn me down. And then I remember the Palestinians in Gaza struggling just to keep life together day by day. I have less and less patience for people who seem oblivious to the suffering in the world.

  2. abubenadhem

    By all means, CONNECT, on a human-human basis with all kinds of people, everywhere. No one will shoot at anyone with whom he/she is connnected.

  3. Linda Moscarella

    Me too, Lora

Leave a Reply to Rita Lavin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s