Elegy

Three astronauts, Meyers, Webber, and Kirby, land on an asteroid after running low on fuel. Strangely, the asteroid resembles Earth, even though they are over 600 million miles away from Earth.  While exploring the asteroid, the astronauts begin to notice not only does this place feel like Earth but it looks like the Earth of yesteryear. During their exploration of the asteroid, they begin to notice people appearing to partake in everyday activities; farming, mowing the lawn, a beauty pageant, but the people are motionless like statues. The astronauts are met in the center of town by a human looking robot named Jeremy Wickwire. He states he is the caretaker for “Happy Glades” the asteroid on which the astronauts have found themselves on. Wickwire explains that Happy Glades was founded in 1973 by wealthy Earthlings to spend their afterlife in their happiest fantasy. Happy Glades is a glorified cemetery. While describing the details of Happy Glades, Wickwire provides the astronauts wine and asks them about their fantasies. All three astronauts say the same thing, to be on their ship headed back home. Suddenly, the astronauts feel strange and realize they were poisoned by Wickwire. He apologizes to the dying astronauts, telling them “you are men and while there are men, there can be no peace.”  The astronauts die and the episode ends with Wickwire placing the astronauts in their spaceship so they could spend their eternity in their fantasy.  

Wickwire’s statement “you are men and while there are men, there can be no peace” is what I would like to focus on for this week’s blog. I don’t believe this statement is true, I cannot believe this statement is true, I don’t want to believe this statement is true yet everything around me tells me this statement is true. Why can there be no peace? Lack of peace comes from scarcity and/or feelings of scarcity. The feeling that there isn’t enough. The feeling of lacking or scarcity is individual and specific to one’s own perspective; not feeling safe enough, not feeling seen or heard enough, not feeling valued enough, not feeling like enough, not having enough (food, money, jobs, land, etc.). It is feeling like you don’t have enough of whatever you deem necessary for survival. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lists food, water, warmth, rest, security, safety, intimate relationships and friendship as basic needs. These basic needs are needs for everyone not just certain people. When these basic needs are not met, people begin to feel scarcity, which leads to fear, and shows itself in anger or aggression.  When we don’t feel we have enough, that scarcity leads to looking out for oneself and seeing everyone else as a threat or the enemy. This is why peace cannot happen at this moment.

I believe peace is possible. It is hard to achieve and even harder to maintain, but is it possible. In order for peace to be possible, we as a collective human race, must want it. We must pick up our heads and look into the faces of our fellow man and see them for what they are, they are us. They want the same things we do, they need the same things we do, they feel like we do, they love like we do, they fear like we do, they hurt like we do, they want peace like we do, they are us. When we can begin to see that they are us and we are they, I believe we can move towards having peace.

So how does this happen? It isn’t just picking up our heads and looking at our fellow man, though that is the first step. We must see them, really see them, before we can move forward. Once we see then we can hear. We must engage, not just with our words, but with our heart, mind, and soul. We must be present, hear what they are saying, what they are really saying, feel what they are saying, and internalize what they are saying. We need to look past the rage and anger, both internally and externally, and realize they are secondary or symptomatic emotions of something much deeper at the core. The core houses the primary emotions like fear, hurt, loneliness, not feeling enough, doubt, sadness, and more. We can’t see and feel these if we just focus on the rage and anger. 

Once we can see the other person, hear what they are saying, and feel what they are feeling, peace can be possible. Peace is wanting for others what we want for ourselves. Peace is feeling empathy even when we haven’t experienced their experiences. Peace is being vulnerable and showing others that we are human, we are the same in what we want and need and feel scared when we feel scarcity.  When we do this, we will want to end feelings of scarcity and actual scarcity. We will want to help one another to stop feeling like they are not enough or don’t have enough because we ourselves know what that feels like and no longer want ourselves and others to feel that. 

Peace can be possible with 4 steps:

  1. Seeing each other 
  2. Listening to each other 
  3. Being empathic with each other 
  4. Ending scarcity

Are you will to take these steps towards peace? 

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