When I first started this post, I originally wanted to say that “N Is For Nice.”  With current events being what they are, and the resulting turmoil in so many communities worldwide, I felt like a gentle reminder of this basic courtesy — simply being nice and kind to one another — was in order.

Across many different cultures and traditions, people try to find ways to try to tell each other to be nice.  One of my favorites is the salutation, “Namaste“.

According to sources, Namaste is a common spoken valediction or salutation originating from the Hindus in the Indian Subcontinent. It is a customary greeting when individuals meet, and a valediction upon their parting. A non-contact form of salutation is traditionally preferred in India and Nepal; Namaste is the most common form of such a salutation.

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. This gesture, called Añjali Mudrā, can also be performed wordlessly and carries the same meaning.

We have taken the greeting here in the west, and, as is our wont to do, have shortened to a quick catchphrase. It is  usually, something along the lines of ” The Divinity in me honors the Divinity in you.” The longer, and more accurate, meaning is on this graphic:namaste-2

The sentiment behind this greeting really speaks to the very best in  each of us. Taking time to see the divinity in everyone, remembering that the Divine is within every living being helps all to see others as more than ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, political and/or religious affiliations or any of the other superficial standards by which we judge each other.

Truly embracing the full meaning of the words that Namaste represents, we would understand that we are more than the sum of our parts.

Encompassing elements the entire UNIVERSE, we do, each of us, have the capacity to be all that is good and beautiful and wonderful in this world. Each of us has been gifted with this amazing ability.

Just taking a moment to say, “Hey, the Divine lives in that person. And the Divine lives me. We are, in fact One,” when walking past someone on the street, place an order with the barista with piercings, tattoos and wild hair, or pulling up next to a person at the stoplight blaring loud and unfamiliar music, would help to expand our own understanding of ourselves, of each other and the world at large.

Remembering the mutual divinity between ourselves could  stop misunderstandings that take place between ourselves.

Honoring our mutual divinity could stop fighting over the petty minutiae that has always fueled our world.

Taking a moment to realize that in the grand scheme of things, our concerns, worries, prejudices, and need to be right over someone else (who is most definitely WRONG) mean nothing, less than nothing, in fact.

How could those concerns, worries and prejudices be anything more, when, within each one of us, the entire universe resides?

We are One.