We really ARE in this all together … it’s easy to look at all the ways we’re different and the things that divide us. And with the political rhetoric in the USA, and the recent Brexit vote, there’s plenty of evidence of this in our world. But for those who dare to wonder about it, the deeper truth is we actually have far more in common with others than might be obvious at first blush.

You may have seen recently the video created as a way of celebrating diversity in our world. The global travel search site momondo invited 67 people from all over the world to take a DNA test. As the participants discovered, it turns out they (and we all) have much more in common with other nationalities than they would ever have thought.  If you’ve not seen the video, you can find it here. It’s a great 5 minute watch!

When, like these people, we pause to think about it, many of us also recognize, that though understandable given the water we’ve been swimming in, some of the assumptions and beliefs about ourselves and others that we’ve often fiercely held are based not in reality, but in the stories and conditioning of our culture.

And yet there are those who, despite their extraordinary circumstances, have found and chosen a different path. They’ve chosen power in vulnerability, not in pushing. They’ve seen the pointlessness and ineffectiveness of competing to see who is the greatest victim or who has suffered more …

I was profoundly moved recently in seeing this TEDx Talk – Awwad is a bereaved Palestinian, former prisoner and now a non-violence activist. After sharing the story of his painful experiences, he talks about his peace work and his activities toward making real the vision he holds of finding a nonviolent solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The fierce and powerful vulnerability in promoting dialogue as a path to peace ...
The fierce and powerful vulnerability in promoting dialogue as a path to peace …
He’s established a Palestinian center for non-violence and formed “Roots”, a group based in the West Bank designed to promote dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians as a path to peace. As improbable as it may seem, Awwad says he has a dream where both sides would reach the conclusion that whatever the price of peace will be, it’s much cheaper than the price of war.”


Stepping out of power struggle …

and making room for the emergence of possibility …

After he was wounded and his brother violently killed by Israeli police, Awwad was stuck in an internal conflict between his non-violent, political mind, and as he says “my heart, which was bleeding”. Even though he knew it wouldn’t bring his brother back, he felt caught in the understandable cycle of thinking about revenge. Until … he met a group of bereaved Israeli families.

Prior to that all he had seen and known was the aggressive power of Israel. Until he experienced their tears and feelings, he’d held Jewish people as ‘other’. Recognizing that they, as he, were also feeling pain and grief changed Awwad’s world.

He already knew the way the daily suffering of the Palestinians under military occupation created the best enemies for Israel. Here, he came to see that his enemy was not the Jewish people, but their fear.

As this recognition crystalized in him, Awwad became not only an activist for non-violence, but also for reconciliation. He acknowledges “this is not an easy road that you take and everything is amazing. My life has become more difficult and complicated.” But he is also committed to making real the notion that “peace is a place where two truths can fit together in one place.”

Have you seen that cartoon where there’s a rowboat that clearly has a hole in it? The water is pouring in one end, and the people there are furiously bailing it out. The caption is from the two in the other, still dry, end of the rowboat, and it says “Sure glad the hole isn’t in our end!”

the big blue marble that is our home …

Although we can chuckle at the ludicrousness of that situation, it can be easy when we’re not directly impacted by the many challenges others face to dismiss or (in one way or another) try to distance ourselves from them. But though the size is larger than a rowboat, the reality is this big blue marble we live on is home for us all. Borders are becoming more and more illusory – what happens in one place really does impact us all.

Can you imagine what it might be like if rather than trying to isolate ourselves from, or engage in power struggle with, those whose way of being set off our conditioned alarm bells, we paused … ? What if like Awwad, without minimizing the pain, or fear, or challenges involved, we looked for the things that join us together in our common humanity? What if we risked showing up and inviting others into this kind of fierce and powerful vulnerability?

The Realizing RICH Relationships community is a place where we practice the skills, and develop the capacities of doing just that. Each of us, has our own sense of passion and calling. We all have unique ways of making a difference in life. And yet we come together to celebrate and support each other along the way. Curious or feeling a resonance here? Please give yourself the gift of joining us.


Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!