National Ampersand Day — Be &
Today is National Ampersand Day, which fits my mission on Earth perfectly.
So, Beloved, do you Ampersand?
Recently someone whose work I admire greatly wrote me a message on Facebook. Here is our exchange in its entirety with a few personal details (like names) changed.
Q: Susan, I have attempted to find the answer to this question, but remain mystified. I totally do not understand what you mean by Be Ampersand. Could you remove my confusion?
A: Yes, of course. To Be Ampersand is to live a life based on And rather than a life based on Or. A life of inclusion rather than exclusion. You and I both know, Beloved, that this world is based on the principle of Polarity — the Complementarity of Opposites. What’s happened is that natural, normal polarity has been taken to its devastating extremes in lots of cultures and left us with polarization in its place. I think a commitment to And living, rather than Or living, will help to heal this. There’s more at iampersand.org if you’re curious. Be the blessing, S.
Response: Thanks for clarifying my suspicions.
I don’t have to underline the polarization from which we are all suffering to one degree or another. There are those who have made a polarity of things that aren’t even polarities!
Try this on: Personal Freedom vs. Public Health.
Actually, the proper polar opposites for these are: Collective Freedom and Personal Health.
Let’s look at them together in their correct relationships.
Personal Freedom / Collective Freedom
It’s hard to have collective freedom without personal freedom, isn’t it? So that when one group of people claim freedom for themselves and that means they prohibit other groups from having personal freedom, we’ve gone past polarity to polarization. Then, it doesn’t really work for anybody because there’s no chance at collective freedom at all. Better, more positively said, no one is free until we’re all free.
Personal Health / Public Health
Same, same. We can’t have public health unless the persons who make up the public have personal health. When one group claims the right to personal health and denies the right to other groups, public health remains impossible. Until all of us are healthy, public health remains out of reach.
Yes, we know, we know, but what do we do in the face of this?
We work to maintain our own freedoms and our own health all the while seeking opportunities to draw attention to and help those in need of both.
Now, between us, I know that I can’t take on all the freedom issues in the United States, or all the health issues in the United States, not to mention the world. But I can see to it that I respect the freedoms of others and the health of others. I can speak about them. I can write about them. I can pray about them. I can even probably help one or two others toward their own freedom or their own health. That’s all I need to do. And, that’s all any of us needs to do.
Ampersand living is about making a difference right where we are.
That’s one of the many reasons each of us is right where we are — to make a difference right here.
Sure, there are less-than-swell things happening all over the world. The ones that are the most important are the ones we witness ourselves. Right in front of our noses. Or houses. Or street corners. The ones that touch us, and our lives.
So, Beloved, do you Ampersand?
You can start right now, where you are, on National Ampersand Day.