To My Fellow Humans…

By Carrie Pokrefke

This morning, while I was scrubbing my breakfast dishes in the sink, I glanced out the window and realized that a beautiful morning was unfolding outside.  The sky was a pale blue.  I could see the Cascades.  And the sun was shining down on Seattle.  I reminded myself to grab my sunglasses for the drive into work.

I stopped for gas on the way to work.  I glanced across the parking lot while I was pumping gas and I noticed a blind lady making her way down the street.  She was walking along the edge of the parking lot and the edge of the street because there was no sidewalk.  Her walking stick was bumping along the ground and struck an occasional light pole that was in the way.  I stood there watching her, even when the gas pump clicked, my eyes followed her down the street until she was out of sight.

I started thinking, she and I both probably woke up around the same time this morning.  We were at about the same point in our day – just beginning.  But what a different experience she and I had already had in the few hours we had been awake.  I was able to see the magnificence of the morning.  I had to have my sunglasses on to protect my eyes from the sun, but she had on sunglasses for completely different reasons.  I could easily be her.  And she could easily be me.

For a few minutes, we were both physically within the same small geographic area, but honestly have two different existences.  We both share the planet with the rest of the billions of humans on earth.  Regardless of who we are or where we are in life or what we have experienced during our lives, we are both human.  That – at a minimum – is our common bond.  The same bond that connects us and everyone else.  It doesn’t matter what our names are, what country we live in, what language we speak or what we believe in – we are all connected.  We are all neighbors.

I am more than the words you might use to describe me – quirky, adventurous, energetic, happy, positive, friendly, helpful or creative. I am more than the labels you can slap on me – vegetarian, traveler, Christian, photographer, writer, dog-lover, female, daughter, friend or American.

I am a human. You are a human. We didn’t chose to be humans. It is who we are. We are all the same in that regards. We are all the same core being.

So, I beg of you to please treat your fellow human beings – no matter the labels and words you use to describe them – the same as the person you call your mother or your son or your best friend. The labels and words you use are just that. The person you are describing is so much more. That person is a human being just like you are. And they deserve to be treated like you want to be treated.