“He contained a whole universe that I had yet to know.”
—Patti Smith, singer, poet and visual artist
I’ve been thinking a lot about first generation reality, something that’s a rare commodity these days. First generation reality is what life looks like without all the filters. The filters are the yellow waxy buildup that stops us from seeing the light within every situation, that prevent us from seeing people as they really are—beautiful souls who want nothing but to love and give of their gifts.
When my dog Izzy was a puppy, she ran full speed ahead to every single canine she saw, wagging her tail, wanting to make a new buddy. There were no exceptions to her joy and exuberance.
This is how we would be, too, (running to every other member of the human race in joyful glee) if we hadn’t condensed first generation reality into our very limited perception.
Every person has immense light and love inside them (no exceptions) and the only reason we cannot see it is because of the lens we laid over it. We covered it up with our beliefs and expectations, with facts that we just KNOW are true. We made a judgment and assume we know what that Republican is up to or that Democrat wants to do to destroy our freedom.
Nothing is as it appears. All we see with the limited five senses is a hologram of our beliefs and expectations. And it’s flawed and it’s getting us in trouble.
I heard about an amazing man yesterday who is doing his part to bridge the divide. His name is Daryl Davis. He’s a black musician whose early years were spent overseas in diverse classrooms. When his parents moved back to the United States, he, like most of the boys in his sixth grade class, joined Boy Scouts. One day, while marching with his troop, people started throwing rocks and sticks at him.
His first thought was, “They must not like Boy Scouts.”
At that point, his parents sat him down and had the race talk with him.
He was stunned.
“How could they not like me?” he thought. “They don’t even know me.”
Since that time, he has taken on the hobby of getting to know white supremacists and, instead of yelling at them, berating them, he sits down and asks questions. He genuinely wants to know what they think.
As he says about engaging his “enemies,” “When you are actively learning about someone else you are passively teaching them about yourself.”
In other words, he gets back to first generation reality. Some black activists call his methods crazy, but as he likes to say, “I’ve got dozens of retired hoods and robes in my closet. How many do you have?”
So, with my new hero, Daryl Davis, in mind, I’d like to share one of the party games from Thank and Grow Rich.
“Stop being boring and show the world what awesome looks like.”
— ROBBY NOVAK, YOUTUBE’S KID PRESIDENT
What if every day we saw ourselves as powerful radio towers for joy, for love, for connection?
What if we adopted the attitude: “I am light, and I stand before you to love you.”
What if we took responsibility, within our own frequencies, for cleaning up toxic environments? What if we decided to emit goodness, to spew beauty?
So what if you don’t have the resources to be a philanthropist. Financial jackpots are only one (and not even the best one) of the resources in your portfolio. You can smile at people. Make conversations. Start up trivia contests in lines at the coffee shop. Make it your task today to emit molecules of happiness to every person you come in contact with. Make it your mission to uplift everyone you see.
Approach each person with this attitude: “I have been waiting to meet you all of my life.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, my fine-feathered friends.
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the recently released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy.