As a life-long musician, and avid music listener, music has played an immensely important role in my life. So, when I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite musicians, David Marion of the band Fear Before, I was extremely excited. Immediately, I started talking with him about the nature of his lyrics, his unique brand of stage presence, how much I enjoyed their music and performance, and how excited I was to get to meet him. But, somewhere towards the end of this conversation, he stared at me as I was talking and just sort of stated with a calm coolness, “we are all the same”. I really didn’t know what to say to this, and I ended up blankly staring at him for about four or five seconds, then continued with what I had been saying, shrugging aside the seemingly unsolicited, strange interjection.
The next day, I was reflecting on the concert, and for some reason, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the statement of, and the ideas behind, the phrase “we are all the same” has some sort of greater importance. The statement struck me as unique; having a certain depth to it, metaphorically, yet at the same time obviously, addressing some shadowed element of human nature. The more I contemplated this profundity, the more the true meaning of that statement occurred to me, simultaneously addressing the nature of life and the essence of being. I believe that everybody is connected through their actions and emotions, and this, in turn, creates a greater being.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-Soul, within which every man’s particular being is contained and made with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty” (The Over-Soul). This “Over-Soul”, the quality that Emerson states binds all people together, is essentially the same overarching connection I realized existed when David Marion explained to me that, in fact, “we are all the same”.
In nearly all aspects of life, this connection can easily be seen. For instance, within everybody is a characteristic drive; a never-ending reach for satisfaction. Everybody wants to escape the stresses and mundane confinements of society, such as school, work, and a daily routine. In response, we go searching for something greater, like a dream, a passion, or something to be remembered by. As a result, ideas similar to the “American Dream”, beginning life owning little to nothing, and, over a life span, becoming wealthy and successful, have manifested themselves in cultures around the world.
But, more than cultural ideologies, this ethereal connection exists in everybody’s interpersonal relations. The way we all treat each other, individually, ultimately coalesces. These relationships end up constructing the way people view life, creating a worldwide character. Whether it is volatile or kind, it affects the world at large, and defines who we are as human beings.