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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Batman, Shared Experiences, and our Oneness

Sometimes, I hear the most profound statements in the most surprising settings. This evening, I had "The Dark Knight Rises" playing in the background. I've never seen this most recent in the Batman series. Although An Avengers fan, I never bought into the movies highlighting a single superhero. Superman, Batman, Thor, Captain America...they all seemed so campy. The special effects are superb, but you don't expect to hear dialogue that makes you pause the movie and contemplate it, the way you put a book down for a moment when you've read a line that resonated with you so deeply you needed to roll it around your brain. Just now, that happened with a dark Batman movie.

As Bruce Wayne steps out of his recluse and attends a charity event, the hostess says to him: "You have to invest to restore balance in this world." Excuse the philosophical naivety of my youth, but I wanted to throw my hands up and scream, "Amen!"

Human beings have an instinctual nature--a primal need--for community. We weren't programmed to be alone. We thrive when we're surrounded by others who both challenge and support us. Even the negative experiences with others change us in ways that make us better. But being part of a community isn't simply about consuming and savoring those experiences, it's about sharing them. If we simply sit and observe, we miss out on the true depth the experiences of others can give us. We also miss out on the redeeming and validating sense of sharing with others.

Too often we rush through our lives, which are filled with commitments, appointments, and expectations. We often fail to see the needs of those around us because we're focused on what's in front of us. What we don't realize is that this hurts not only those in our communities, but ourselves. We rob one another of the wisdom gleaned only from experience.

Just imagine a world where we all invest in one another. If everyone embraced this simple idea. Acknowledged this primal need to weave our lives together. Maybe the world could find balance.

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