Compassion and Binaries

Binaries have caused so much harm in my life. Good versus Bad. Black versus White. Short versus Tall. Fat versus skinny. You get the picture. Most people do not fit into one box. Binaries are created to separate and exclude. Yet our brains love them. So much!

Do you realize that to hold space in you for Compassion to flourish, you have to live in the “grey” area, so to speak? And not in the “Black” or “White” of the binary? Something deep in us instinctively wants firm lines so we know where we righteously stand, and we can trust that our “good” will outweigh “the other” as bad.

But it does not work like that. No.

How do we tend to this instinct that really does not serve us? By focusing on our common humanity and our deep interconnectedness with each other as human beings. My favorite African principle is “Ubuntu” which says, “I am because we are.” There is no me without you. That is the bottom line. When I look into your eyes, my humanity is reflected back to me. So, I need others to connect with and be in community with and remember that we have so much more in common than we will ever have different.

I am deeply conflicted about the hurt in the world today. I ache for stories from both sides of the fence. I want to hear the lived experiences of the folks that are impacted by the hurt. Their grief stirs up memories within me and thus, my own humanity. I grieve with those that grieve. Your grief is also my grief.

I reflect on the fact that no human is all bad or all good. No group of people is all bad or all good. And it takes deep compassion and a focus on our common humanity to hold that truth as my truth.

Hold on to that truth, Beloveds. We are all holding on for our dear lives. Peace to you and yours.

Iyabo Onipede
Co-Director
Compassionate Atlanta

Share :

Twitter
Telegram
WhatsApp

Join The Ride

Subscribe to receive future updates from the Compassionate Atlanta team & our sponsors!

More Stories

Vote For You

In case you have not noticed, the election is fast approaching. It’s in 45 days to be exact. So, that means if you are not already registered to vote—NOW IS THE TIME.

children

It Takes a Village

We often use the phrase “it takes a village”. So, when we ask the question, “Who is in your village?” Who comes to mind? Who’s there to hold your hand when you’re having a bad day?

9/11

Compassion around Atlanta

I remember exactly where I was on the morning of September 11, 2001.  I’m guessing that you remember where you were, too. I had no idea how the day would impact my life and my work.

piano

Pianos for Peace

Do you ever wish we had a universal language? One that spanned borders, religions, even the ages?

Vote For You

In case you have not noticed, the election is fast approaching. It’s in 45 days to be exact. So, that means if you are not already registered to vote—NOW IS THE TIME.

children

It Takes a Village

We often use the phrase “it takes a village”. So, when we ask the question, “Who is in your village?” Who comes to mind? Who’s there to hold your hand when you’re having a bad day?

Decatur

Woodlands Garden

Woodlands Garden, one of Compassionate Atlanta’s charter partners, is all about compassion. The land that makes up the gardens was a compassionate gift to the community from Dr. and Mrs. Chet and Gene Morse after their death.

leaves

Nature

Nature can teach us so many things…

Kroger Community Rewards

Did you know that you can help create a more compassionate Atlanta every time you go to the supermarket?

If you have a registered Kroger Plus Card (available for free at the Customer Service desk in every Kroger store) and a Kroger Community Rewards online account, and choose us as your designated non-profit organization, your purchases will begin earning rewards for Compassionate Atlanta within 7 to 10 business days!

Amazon Smile

Register your Amazon.com account, make Compassionate Atlanta your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate 5% of eligible purchases to help us raise the voice of compassion throughout the city!