By Pam Blevins Hinkle
Have we considered how what we label a dream might be a nightmare to others? Have we been thoughtlessly indoctrinated into the dreams of the “teams” we join? What happens when our dreams compete with other people’s dreams? These are some of the provocative questions raised by Grammy-winning rapper/hip-hop artist Michael Render (aka “Killer Mike”) at Full Circle Dreaming during the festival.
“Do we spend proportional energy trying to understand the impact of our dreams upon others, especially those that don’t look, worship, spend, and live like us?”
Killer Mike illustrated some of these questions with a story. When he and his wife flew to Jamaica for a much needed vacation, they were disheartened to disembark in the pouring rain. When they complained to the cab driver, he simply said, “Farmers pray, too.”
That statement led Mike and his wife to rethink their dreams of a perfect weekend getaway. They turned their attention from outdoor activities to each other, to the people around them, and to a slower pace that led to a restful retreat … all because a cab driver reminded them that their dreams are in relationship to others.
In a time and culture that emphasizes independence/individuality over interdependence/community, it’s all too easy to overlook the critical significance of relationship and connection in building healthy societies.
Instead, we join opposing teams: Republicans vs. Democrats, women vs. men, race vs. race, sacred vs. secular, MBAs vs. MFAs, liberals vs. conservatives, and the list goes on. We spend energy, money, and time promoting our own values, agendas, and dreams to create the world we want. As we should.
But. Do we spend proportional energy trying to understand the impact of our dreams upon others, especially those that don’t look, worship, spend, and live like us? Probably not.
What to do? Here are three suggestions that can make a difference for you, for others, and for your community.
- Make friends with people who don’t look like you. This was Killer Mike’s number one suggestion.
- Support a new organization on #GivingTuesday that helps people who are not like you. I’ll let you decide what this means, but use this as an opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and stretch in a new direction.
- Make a $20 gift to Spirit & Place on #GivingTuesday. In a world that is hungry for meaning and connection, Spirit & Place brings people together across boundaries of difference to listen, explore, share, and create … illuminating what is possible when we dream together.