I’ve often been told I’m a “sympathetic soul.” I’ve never given it much thought, but in recent months I’ve realized: It’s true. I love you and you and you and you and . . . Why? How can I love you? I’ve never even met you.
Because I’m human, too.
I don’t care what you look like or where you live or who you believe in or what you wear. I don’t care if you’re male or female, rich or poor, French or Peruvian, educated or uneducated . . . I don’t care if you like horses or if you like to eat horses . . . I don’t care if you love travel or if you’ve never traveled . . .
Underneath it all, we’re all the same.
See . . . We all want the same things, feel the same things, breathe the same air, bleed the same blood. We’ve all hoped and lost hope, hurt others and been hurt by others. We’ve all tried and fallen, and picked ourselves up again, and fallen again, and picked ourselves up again, and . . .
After all, we’re still here, aren’t we?
We’ve all been stressed and tired and sick and worried. We’ve all lost someone. We’ve all had our hearts broken and broken others’ hearts. We’ve all been lonely . . . We’ve all been there.
And so why shouldn’t I love you? Why shouldn’t I, if I’ve been there, too? Why shouldn’t I feel for you? I’ve needed you to feel for me, too.
No one is invincible.
Not even me.
Not even you.
The world would be a better place if everyone realized that other people are people, too.
Help me spread the love. Say hi on facebook or twitter! I don’t bite!
Beautifully put and universally true.
Thanks so much, Benjamin. Nice to meet you. :)
Thank you, you as well.
Love u more –
Haha, dear Hoss. ;)
You sure you don’t bite? ;)
Quite sure, Sam! Thanks for the comment! :)
Anytime, Jessica. Anytime. And you’re welcome. ;)
I like this piece. Soulful.
Thank you, Mitsuo. It’s me…
Great post, it’s very moving. Can I ask if the photo is yours?
Thanks, Mark. I’m glad to hear that. No, the photo isn’t mine. I state at the bottom that I got it off of Pinterest. I found it a while ago but should go back to find who posted it so as to give proper credit where it is due. Forgive me.
No problem Jessica, I should have noticed the acknowledgement on your post. Once again just a great post! :)
Thanks so much! That means a lot…!
“The world would be a better place if everyone realized that other people are people, too…” So damn true.
Another great piece, thank you.
(By the way, I’ll be emailing you shortly for help on CSS, ha. Sorry!)
So glad you liked it. Cultural differences and values can make understanding hard, especially when it comes to the relationship between men and women, as you noted. I feel lucky to have been born in a place where being a woman is valued… But, still. At our core, we’re all the same.
Got your email, and no problem! I’ll do my best to explain soon… though I’ve just been learning as I go!
You say the sweetest things. =)
And I mean them!
Hearts about the only time I wish I’d enabled emoticons. :P The rest of the time they drive me crazy! But that’s just me…
Wow Jess, you’ve done it again…moved me before I even had a chance to realize what was happening….by way of a view into your own heart. Keep writing.
Thanks, Dad. You know I will.
Lol. I feel so ignorant… Like the noodle? Or the atheist’s way of saying “amen”? Or…? :D
:) The greeting/prayer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM).
Lol. That’s awesome! That’s a new one for me… Well then, “Ramen!” from me, too!
This is the best thing you have posted on this site…. Now that is poetry! I can tell these are words you truly feel and it shows in the structure. Keep it up Jess! Awesome work!
Thank you so much, Kurt. That means so much. Yes, I mean what I say… And hopefully as this site continues my posts will only get better and better. That would be a writer’s dream, anyway! So good to hear from you. :)
Doesn’t it feel like those who have had the biggest struggles in life are usually the most sympathetic/empathetic. You’ve had a pretty big event Jessica. You’ve also traveled the world. Good combo for getting one’s priorities informed and critical judgement of others life styles diminished. It makes life more interesting to be open to differences, helps us to evolve I think. Thanks again for another aha moment!
Thank you, Terri. I know you’re right. Overall, from outward appearances, I’ve had a really good life. But no life is perfect; no one escapes pain, and I’ve definitely had my share of it, both physically and emotionally… But… You’re so right. The really crappy things in my life are what have made me me, and the blessing is that, because of them, I can relate to others who have been through similar situations… I can’t imagine what I’d be like today if everything in my life had “gone my way.” I don’t think I’d have half the depth that I do (not to brag or say “I’m so great,” just saying…).
And yes, both my travel and this blog have also made a huge impact on my life. While abroad I experienced a culture so different from mine that I was often surprised that the same stars could shine there as shone at home—I felt I was on another planet. And yet… The people, no matter how different, were the same… And through this blog I am able to communicate with people from all over the world, thus reinforcing this fact.
We’re all the same. We’re all screw ups. We all just want to love and be loved.
Good stuff. At the root of it all, we all just want to be loved, accepted, and belong.
Yup. So true. Thanks so much for your comment! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. :)
It’s actually a working weekend, so not so much fun. Hope you’ve been keeping well :)
I’ve been doing all right. Always good to hear from you. :)
Ha, same here
This is so beautifully put! A big fat I LOVE YOU to you too x
Thank you! So glad you liked it… And wonderful to hear from you! :) jess
Interesting post :)
I love the photograph! It’s looks so magical! Your post just made my day :)
So glad to hear that. Alas, I can’t take credit for the photo. But I’m happy to hear that the post made your day… Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Means a lot. :)
An incredible post, re-read it a couple times as you covered such difficult themes so effortlessly. Very impressive. I read a comment on your site a few posts ago that mentioned your talent in covering a lot of topics, and I must agree as this piece is so wonderful (I think one of your best), yet so different from others of yours I have liked as well. Nicely done.
Thank you so much, Randall. It’s funny. When it’s on my heart, it’s easy, it just flows… When writing is slow and seems hard, I need to learn to just walk away (unless it’s something I’m getting paid for, haha)… This post was easy. I mean every word.
As for covering different topics, I don’t know how to do otherwise. Life is hardly one-dimensional… Thank you so much, as always. Your visits mean the world. jess
Jess, you know you are doing what you should be doing when it feels effortless – and you produce such great writing. Keep it coming :-)
I’ll try! I don’t think I could ever stop writing…
Also, difficult themes… Who we are under it all isn’t so difficult to understand. The difficult part is being willing to try.
Very well said. Part of the brilliance in the pieces you have written is peeling away ideas and getting to the core of matter. It takes some bravery to push ahead and find the core.
Bravery, perhaps. And a little bit of craziness, too. But, as Steve Jobs said, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently… Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world—are the ones who DO.” :)
I like that :-)
What I just wrote in the cliche post….felt the poem emerge there at the end but wanted to stay on track with the main point. Been thinking about this… =)
Hello again. :) I’m not sure I understand the connection. The writing may have seemed poetic at the end – the phrase certainly not new – but… I wouldn’t call it cliche… I certainly hope it didn’t detract from the whole. But maybe it did. It is difficult for an author to judge his own work without bias.
No, I didn’t think it cliche. ” It is difficult for an author to judge his own work without bias.” Aahh…had planned to mention this in an upcoming post. ;) Xxx Diana
It’s very true! The only way I can judge my own work with lessened bias is to put a lot of time between it and me. Lock it away for a few months and *then* look at it — *then* I can read it as if I were reading someone else’s words, *then* I can see it clearly. (Also, I’m glad you didn’t think this cliche! Phew!)
Looking forward to your post! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. :) jessica
what u said is basically what i’d planned to write. but i wanted to offer the REASON for the clarity time brings. i hope u didnt take offense to the mafia post. Xxx diana
No offense taken! And I look forward to your post. I haven’t written much on the writing process on this blog, but there is definitely a lot to be said. I look forward to reading your post. :)
ps i would never aim to hurt anyone – i LOVE my readers.
I know that! Never thought that. I love my readers, too…! Thank you.
Once again your writing makes me feel something.
Greg, what more could a writer hope for? Thank you. I hope what you felt was something good. :) jess
Of course. :D
Then that makes me feel something good, too. :)
This is a very true, well written and powerful post. Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you so much – for reading! It’s about all of us, and that *is* powerful. :) jess
I love everything you say, except I’m not too sure about the people who eat horses.
Haha, Bumba. I’m not sure I understand eating horses, either. But there are some people in the world—my students in Hong Kong, for example—who think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are weird! So, to each his own… Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Means the world. :)
Good to hear. I just didn’t want everyone to get too serious.
Lol. Me? Serious? Never. :D
Beautiful Jess…!! I really don’t have much words to praise you for this amazing piece of work you posted here…!! You have a beautiful heart …!!
Thank you for writing this….!! ~ Kazi
Thank you, Kazi. I’m glad it touched you. I mean every word I say… We really are all the same underneath. You know this. ;)
“I don’t care if you like horses or if you like to eat horses.”
That is the greatest line I think I have read in a long time, and I will live off it for the rest of the day.:o)
Seriously, though…well said, and well met. Your posts make me smile, and make me want to keep smiling at others even when I feel like no one is smiling back. So, thanks…
That makes me smile, Vance. I know it can be hard. When people don’t treat other people like people, it’s hard to keep smiling. Hard not to do likewise. But there are always glimmers of hope. I look for them. A child’s smile. A grandfather’s laugh. A stressed barista behind the counter at Starbucks who I feel so badly for because no one is helping, only criticizing… While environment is huge, we all have a choice.
Glad you liked the line about the horses. I made myself chuckle with that one, too. ;)
I LOVE this post Jessica! As you’ve possibly read on my blog, I enjoy tearing down systems & ideologies that divide our human family or subtly nurture intolerance or hate between people…so you’ve done it here as well. You’re my new BEST FRIEND! ;)
Many times it is such a simple message and life-creed isn’t it?
Indeed it is, and yes I *have* noticed that about the posts on your site… People are people. So much of who we are is out of our control. People can’t help where they are born or what food they’re raised around or what their social norms are… And who’s to say one is right and the other is wrong? Who’s to say one is better than another? The sooner we let go of personal biases and look for openness and understanding, the better off we’ll be. …
Ha. And we’ve had how many years to figure this out? And how far have we gotten? Oh, humanity. You never learn what, deep down, you already know. For shame.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Professor. I consider you one of my good friends, too. :)
So true Ms. Jessica!
Thank you, Andrea! And Miss Jessica… that’s what my students called me in Taiwan and Hong Kong! Good memories… :)
We all have the capacity to love everyone, we are born with it. All the other hateful characteristics are learned through life. I love all human beings, as a matter of fact all creatures. I have only found this to be true about myself within the past year because I was trying to rediscover myself. And in that process I guess you can say I had a rebirth.
There is way too much hate in the world. Like the saying goes, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Thanks for the inspiration, Jessica.
Peace!!! and Love!!!
Thanks so much, Frank. I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. I must say I am truly amazed by your story… And good for you for trying to rediscover yourself! … I definitely had an unexpected rebirth of my own while abroad… Looking for that all the time, but it isn’t easy.
No one is perfect, but, with grace and understanding… It’s as you say: “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Thanks again. :)
beautiful on all levels. tony
thank you, tony. that means so much. xo jess
a lovely way of putting into words what we all should feel…
“what we should all feel…” YES!
thank you :)
It appears you’ve been having some agape love moments. Allow me to elaborate. In his book “Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander” Thomas Merton writes about a beautiful encounter he had with agape love in his own life, and of what can happen when we reach that step on the ladder. Excerpt below:
In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers.
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstakes.
I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time.
If only, eh Jess?
Amen, Jeff. Thanks for sharing. Good stuff… But my agape moment wasn’t just a moment. It’s all the time. It always will be. :)
Thanks so much for reading and sharing, dear friend!
Wow, what a great post. Can’t say much else, you said it all :)
Thank you, Mabel. :)
Why shouldn’t we love? Easier said than done, isn’t it?
Well done, gentle sis.
Yes, easier said… But not if we take a moment to remove ourselves from a situation. To be an observer of mankind. But when that guy just stole your parking space? You’re right. Not so easy. I may be writing on something to that effect soon. Thanks so much, Lucas! Your visits mean the world. :) jess
Reblogged this on Danny Breslin.
Thank you, Danny!
I loved this so much I had to reblog it, hope you don’t mind. I’m not sure about the French though, isn’t that taking it just that little bit too far? hehehehe
Lol, Dan. No! Not too far!! :P And thank you so much for the reblog! I am honored. :)
A lovely tender sentiment. Thanks for sharing. And, by the way, that photo is absolutely breathtaking.
Thank you, Rusha! And thank you so much for reading and commenting. I mean every word I say… And I’m glad you liked the photo. I loved it, too, when I found it. There is beauty in the world yet, after all. ;)
Hope you’re having a wonderful day!
This is a truly lovely post. Thank you. I love you too!
Thank you so much, Yaz! I’m glad you liked it. Much love to you, too. :)
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! Means the world.
I couldn’t agree more. Empathy wells in me towards my fellow human being.
Thanks, Mike! And good to see ya! The power of empathy should not be underestimated.
btw, plz don’t call yourself ugly. u r very attractive.
Haha. Thank you. I don’t think I’m ugly, but I do think you are kind!
:) That’s so important, too. May we all never lose that empathy!
best i can say because of peerless beauty of meaning in these words is the reality they point to…
I’m not sure I follow what you mean, Mike… I feel a bit silly… The meaning of the words is beautiful, and the reality is _____?
Something like, it’s what these words point to you have written about that makes the words of praise fall short.
Ahh, I see. I agree. And thank you!
three comments swiping at the clouds of nourishment….
Indeed! I saw that! Clouds are a wonderful thing… Thank you so much. :)
it is indeed love that makes the world go round…
It is! Always wonderful to hear from you Walter! I’m sorry I’m so far behind on responding to comments and keeping with others’ blogs — including yours! I’ll be by soon. :) Much love to you!
no problem… stay blessed!
Wonderfull heart touching piece
Thank you so much, Ibrahim! And thank you for reading. It is wonderful to meet you. :) p.s. Sorry for my late response!
I appreciate your shining and generous spirit. Thank you for this inspiring post.
And thank *you* for reading and commenting! Means the world. I really do love everyone — at least I try! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. :) Jessica
Your blog is full of lovely posts. And I too think that this is of your best posts. :) I love love loved it. :)
Sorry for the typo, it should be – this is one of your best posts.