Today is Friday, August 2, 2013.
"No matter what our differences are, we all look at the same moon." –Anonymous
As usual, this quote has been attributed to all sorts of people, so let's just admit that we don't know who said it first, and it doesn't matter, anyway.
I have to admit, when I lived in Japan, I did often look up at the moon and feel comforted that my folks back in the U.S. would see the same moon in a few short hours. If you think about it, though, I'm not so sure it really means what most people think it means.
If it means that we're all alike in some way as human beings, then that's true, but why pick on the moon? We all see the same sun, too. And we all live on the same planet. Why don't those facts inspire us the way that looking at the moon does? And although we all look at the same moon, don't be fooled into believing that we all think the same way, because we don't. Sure, we all eat, sleep, and use the toilet, to put it nicely. Even the way we do these things is different, depending on the culture we are a part of and the economic class we fall into.
We all have loves and hates, fears, worries, and problems, but these, too, have a lot to do with the culture and economic class we are in. They also have to do with our religion or spirituality (or lack thereof, or ambivalence about) as well as our political orientation and sexual orientation.
Entertainment, social and news media lull us into thinking that we are more alike than we are different, but I don't think that's true. Even if everyone in the world looked at the moon all on the same night (each in their own time zones), we would not start to think alike, and it would be a very great mistake to assume that we would – or could.
Just imagine if it were possible, though. If every member of the United States House of Representatives looked at the moon together, would they, could they reach an agreement about immigration reform, the minimum wage, how to "fix" the economy, or Obamacare?
If every person who considers himself or herself a Christian looked at the same moon, could they all agree on abortion or euthanasia?
If NRA members and those who identify with the "gun control" lobby all looked at the moon together could they agree on ways to eliminate gun violence?
You can supply more questions of your own in the same vein, but basically, I'm pretty sure you'll agree that there won't be much agreement anytime soon on the issues above, even if we all looked at the very same moon.
It's a nice fantasy, though. :-)