The Driver …
His eyes were on the road driving, but he would glance back at me in the mirror almost crying as he beseechingly wanted me to understand. He was my Uber driver recently here in Chicago, and when I asked where he was from he said Isreal, but that he was Palestinian. And thus it began – and I paraphrase. He said, “The world is told that Isrealis and Palestinians are mortal enemies. This is a lie. Of course there is hate and extremists on both sides, but mostly in daily life we rely on each other. We work together, we’re friends, we’re baby-sitters,we care about each other.”
He continued, “You don’t see in the news how many of us want peace. There are protests and actions by all types of people in Isreal for peace.” His eyes pleaded with me in the mirror as if it deeply mattered personally for this truth to be known. He shared further that he had worked in Isreal at a research center where people of many religions and countries worked together for sustainable energy research.
And thus I reflect: When we believe the well-orchestrated fear-based news that flashes across our computer or TV screens daily reinforcing the idea of enemies, fear, and separation, this deeply pains our soul because it negates a truth that we know in our deepest being. Yes, humanity’s inhumanity to itself is age-old and may never fully end, but the greater truth is that even as you read these words, billions across this earth are loving their family, friends, strangers, and are interacting harmoniously.
Across all boundaries of skin, religion, gender, nation, billions of members of this species still love. The greatest task facing us perhaps in human history is to stand firm in knowing love, and to question the ancient tactic of creating enemies to justify fear. This human tendency is manipulated by people who are run by this fear and by their greed for power.
He parked as we arrived at my destination. I got out of the car and so did he. We shook hands. Hands from different continents of this earth unified in a single moment in time. I thanked him for sharing what seemed so important to him and that I was grateful to hear of this truth that I’ve felt for years. He voiced an earnest gratitude for meeting me. As his car, like at the end of a movie, disappeared into the dark night, I thanked life for reminding me that the deepest truth is and will always be, in the end, that we are One.