I grew up in a world defined by barriers and boundaries.  One accepted their existence.  Culture, economic, and race were just the beginning.  Castes, blood lines, and language were tangibly real moats.  Cross them at the risk of your life.  If you did, respect for local customs and practices was a must.  It was important, often required to understand and honor the walls between us.

In responding to these, some rebelled while others looked to make them stronger.  In a moment which created an interesting opening for others, businesses’ quest for profit created an openness to marketing imagination and universally consistent goods and services.  Revolutionary discoveries on how white goods (washing machines, refrigerators, and stoves) which were sold bore more in common with each other than differences led to mega factories in the Far East and lower prices to consumers.

As a young student of business, I found the discovery insightful and yet, I always suspected there was more to the story.  As I pursued understanding how people heard me, I discovered how important it is to understand the frameworks through which we see life.  As helpful as it was with others, the real discovery was one of self-awareness.  When I factored in my framework, I found my happiness came as the result of the same events and relationships as my grandparents and those before them.

Happiness, peace, and love are universal.

Yes, each has many shapes and manifestations.  There are as many ways to express and experience these pillars as there are walls which divide us.  It is in understanding that our differences are really doors to more that we demolish the evil which often lurks behind and in the shadows.  As we muster the courage to open these doors and step into each other’s life, we discover the truth of Divine love and the reality of the universal nature in being part of Divinity’s family.

As I consider this, I find myself repeating the psalm with thanksgiving; “The fame of your goodness spreads across the country; your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.” (Psalm 145.7).

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