We must see people as planets as opposed to seeing them as our moons. We tend to have a very egocentric view of ourselves, considering others as only periphery artifacts to our own life rather than beings with rich lives of their own. By putting ourselves in this mindset, we devalue and dehumanize others. We see life as a zero-sum game where the winner takes all. However, it shouldn't matter what your neighbor has or what your nemesis from high school has accomplished. What should matter is that we are adding value to those around us, taking the time to attempt to understand them and to, above all else, be kind.
Last summer I was at a commencement ceremony at a prestigious college in New York. The event was outside and the weather was making everyone miserable. I had stuffed a protein bar in my pocket, knowing that I would be sitting on an uncomfortable folding chair for about five hours and I would likely become ravenous (I rushed out of the house without having breakfast). There was a high school aged girl two seats from me. I overheard her remark to her father that she was hungry. The father didn't have anything with him and apologized for not having planned ahead. Well, needless to say, that didn't help the girl. I offered the Kind bar to the girl's father. The father accepted it for his daughter and was very grateful. He seemed shocked that a stranger would do something like that. I am shocked that more people would not.
I am angry with my brothers and sisters around the world for allowing this to become the status quo. We need to respect everyone--especially those of differing beliefs from our own--and need to understand that we are all important. It does not matter if we are gay, straight, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist. We are all brothers and sisters. We all need to give more respect.
I challenge you to do a simple act of kindness every day for a stranger. Make this world a better place. Realize you are part of the world (and the universe)-you are not a world of your own. We are all equal. Do whatever you can to help your equals out, for each star, moon, and planet out there could use your help. Who knows, maybe they will even reach out and help you, too.