One of the biggest and most compassionate questions we get asked about the work that we do here at Inner Ocean is, “Why do you choose to help so many people over there when our people here still need help?”
It is a great question. And it gives us the opportunity to speak about something that we hold near and dear in our work at IOEP. And that is: global citizenship.
What the heck does that mean?
It means that instead of identifying solely as a citizen of the U.S., we take the stance of belonging to the globe.
It also means that wherever we choose to focus our energy, we consider the place, the people, the animals, and the ecosystem, to be just as valuable as any other place on the planet.
To be a global citizen acknowledges that old adage, “We are one” and works within that framework. This lens allows us to see through the subjective lines of counties, cities, states, and countries as just that – human imposed, and rather arbitrary.
If we are working with children who have been sex-trafficked in India, we see them as no different from the children who have been sex-trafficked in America. (And we promise you, when you look into their faces you won’t see any differences either!)
And if you see a starving street dog in Nepal who can hardly stand up straight because he is so close to death, you cannot help but to see your own pets in their eyes.
These experiences of connection just happen – they are not forced.
Global citizenship means that we feel community no matter where we find ourselves in the world. It means that whatever is happening on the soil beneath our feet is just as important is what is happening on the soil beneath the feet of humanity. It means if a hurricane hits America, we respond. It means if a hurricane hits Africa, we also respond. It means there is no hierarchy and there is no “us” and “them,” only one planet and “we” are all the inhabitants.
Why is this important?
Well because whether we like it or not…whether we acknowledge it or not, we are impacted by this entire planet. Every single thing, big or small, that happens in the world, impacts us. If you don’t believe me, look at quantum physics. There is no possible way for us to NOT be impacted by what is happening to “others”! If everything is particle and wave, then we are bumping up to the world, all the time. And the world – no matter how hard we try to keep it at bay, is bumping up to us as well.
So when it comes to health, we can’t possibly be healthy when our world is experiencing so much un-health, dis-ease, poverty, oppression, exploitation, and the list goes on. When we are witnessed in the context of our world, there is no such thing as a private pathology! What belongs to us, belongs to the world and vice versa.
How does this change things?
Because when you take incredible care of yourself, you must acknowledge that you are also taking care of this world. And when you take incredible care of this world, you are also taking care of yourself! We are one.
Tell me, how do YOU know that we are all one? Or do you? Does this idea make you crazy? Please share your thoughts below!
(Above image courtesy of kdshutterman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
(Right image courtesy of phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)