I have been reading a book called The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander with my children.
I found the following passage worth jotting down so I can read it again and again. The characters noted below were high in the air, looking down at the world.
“Are we still in the kingdom of T’ang?” Fragrance of Orchid said. “Have we left it and crossed into another kingdom?”
“The first thing to understand,” Niang-niang said, “is that there is no Kingdom of T’ang, nor any other realm. Do you see borders? Is one countryside so different from another? Is not a mountain a mountain, a tree a tree, wherever it may be? Kingdoms? They are pitiful inventions of humankind. They mean nothing to us. We see there is only the world itself, nothing more, nothing less.”
Truly. Look at that image of Earth. There are natural boundaries formed by oceans, rivers, varying climates. There are not lines denoting ” us” and “them”.
There is so much division in our society, in our world. Different religions. Different political ideologies.
I became a mother after 9/11 and just two months before the U.S. launched its War on Terror. It saddens me that this has been the state of our world for my children’s whole lives. It saddens me that these patterns repeat again and again throughout history.
Radicals aside, isn’t the average person simply trying to live a happy, safe, healthy, meaningful life? Are we really so different from one another?