I recently left the steadiness of California to embark on a continental book tour. I, like any writer I suppose, have untapped reservoirs of hope rooted in the conviction that I can change the world, so I left the mountains, my friends — everything I’ve known for many years — in a van packed with only the most basic sustenance — food, books and a sweet but demanding canine.
Traveling across the country offers a unique observation point into society’s wells and ills. And from this new liberating perspective, as an outside observer, it soon became apparent that we have essentially become a culture based on ideals and practices of separation.
No matter where I go, I first see the gold in everyone. I acknowledge and greet the people I see and I have met some of the most beautiful people just by being open in this way. But what astonishes me is how frequently I have reached out to people with two and even three simple, friendly greetings — only to be ignored. It is as if these people are afraid to engage, going to extreme lengths – even denying my very existence — to retain their sense of separation.