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Challenges we face — air, water — require rising above differences

By David Scott Clegg | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-07-20 05:11
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File photo: the author David Scott Clegg. 

What is the purpose of life but to live? And what is the destiny of humanity but to understand our relativity — to ourselves, to one another, to the nature of all things? For through the complexity of our diversity lay threads of simplicity. It is simply our fate to relate, to cooperate, to innovate to elevate.

And the simple truth that life exists for this reason among few others: that we may live, love, learn, and someday leave. But leave in knowing we have in some small but meaningful way cracked the code on our shared destiny through an experienced commonality among most uncommon conditions set forth through our humanity.

This week we celebrate the Sister Cities International program with the US-China Mayor's Summit amid the 40th Anniversary of Sino-US diplomatic relations between the two nations. Sister Cities International was formed during the Eisenhower era in America, back in 1956. President Eisenhower, perhaps through the tragic witness of war, founded the organization with an eye toward a pathway to peace.

Yet the concept has a history as long as time itself — at least human times as civilized societies. Peoples. Aligning. Thriving. Surviving. Ensuring basic needs were met and safe passage provided through this life experience. These and other reasons led to greater reason still, that humanity was better suited as a cooperative, and that innovativeness finds its inspiration through the combining of ideas, thought, energy to evolve in both consciousness and beingness. Doing through being, manifest through requisite togetherness.

For if it were the destiny of mankind to be isolated, we would be isolated. And if it were the nature of man to be similar, we would lack in diversity. Yet we do not. For nothing in the universe evolves from lack, from constriction. Through continued expansion we meet with a greater version of ourselves as with one another. And it is through the endless pursuit of such that we continue to extend the boundaries of possibilities — and the truth of our inherency as humanity.

China. The US. With diversity as our strength, commonality our bond. Each is required for a better world desired. Both, unique in view, are essential to seeing our way through, beyond individual thought and into our collective good.

American Martin Luther King once shared, "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." With Chinese master Lao-Tze long before recognizing, "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." Great masters, philosophers, pavers of roads of greater possibility, etching upon the universe their own sentiment to be concretized through the gift of the human experience, a symphony of all worlds as one harmonic note.

The US-China Mayor's Summit is more than merely a meeting of well-intentioned leaders, those who have embraced bilateralism as a way of finding a better way, businesswise and otherwise. The Summit represents a long and arduous climb upon nascent but necessary paths, where new heights, new elevations offer a higher perspective on the prospect of what it means to be human as we enter the next age, the next phase of the human experiment — the Human Age. The Information Age, the current time of great technological advancement, offers little guarantee of our future existence if we fail to use such advances of information and exchange for the betterment of all mankind. This is our working reality.

The future of work is changing. The landscape of living is shifting. Transparency of the trials, tribulations of peoples across cultures, nations, regions has made it no longer convenient to cast aside the mirror of our own truth — as individuals, as societies, as humanity. The windows into the world beyond us have cast such mirrors upon us. And with this information, a transcendent view beyond the current Age and into that forthcoming, which is nothing more, nothing less than the unveiling of a greater knowing, a demanding for the redefining of what it means to be 'human,' collectively so.

Human. Being. Uniquely similar. Opening up to our similarities via our inherent diversity. This is not the state of each state in their entirety, but the intention founded through familiarity, manifest through sister cities and brother nations a common destiny, a 'community of shared future for mankind.'

So many different ways to live, to govern, to act as sovereign while building bridges that are as natural as the nature of such diversity in form. The challenges we face, the macro issues that know no national border as their boundary — climate, air, water, food, health and vitality — require we rise above that which divides us and elevate our thinking and activity through what defines us.

It is our destiny that we find common ground through our diversity. And a common home through fated familiarity, our shared future as one humanity.

Anything less would be less…

When more is our core.

David Scott Clegg is the author of the award-winning novel The Longest Distance and also a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post.

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