This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Young Homeless Professional.
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It would benefit us all to feel comfortable in the company of people that appear peculiar and unusual as gauged by the metric of our familiar surroundings.
To the best of my reckoning I figure we all have a common human experience and therefore a bond with each other in a very deep and meaningful sense. What separates us are superficial differences in appearance, beliefs and behavior but at the core we are all the same and share a common human experience of being alive on this planet.
If we look beyond the cracker thin veneer of those differences we discover that we are all fundamentally similar with the same basic needs, fears, wants and desires. What separates us from each other is our limited perception of who we are and our failure to see ourselves reflected in each other.
We need to overcome the barriers of our limited perceptions. We must learn how to truly see.
At times, we should drink strong coffee and espouse philosophically. Equally, we should lie in the grass and eat Spam, EZ Cheese and sip Pabst Blue Ribbon from a can.
If we intend to grow, learn and escape the mundane it’s essential that we go fishin’ with rednecks, discuss Descartes with intellectuals, play a few scales with musicians, learn to throw paint on a canvas with artists, stalk delicious words with poets, get funky with weirdoes, have an adrenaline rush with thrill seekers, read peer reviewed research with professors, clean our brushes in mineral spirits with painters, mix cement with bricklayers, chop garlic and sauté it in olive oil with cooks, push a broom with street sweepers and organize data tables with record keepers.
We need the other like maple seeds count on the wind to disperse them far from their origins and carry them to fertile soils to germinate. Encountering these differences and embracing diversity is necessary for our own growth.
The soul likes to wallow in the mud and the deep dark mysterious chthonic muck of our earthly existence while the spirit likes to ride the breeze and soar high up in the clouds where raindrops coalesce. We must walk between those worlds.
When we feel equally as comfortable at a fancy 5-course dinner appreciating the velvety tannins in a nice merlot as when we order up a greasy glorified steak and strings walkin’ from The Varsity in the company of a bunch of grungy construction workers then we know that we have truly learned to Walk Between the Worlds.