Blended Family by teZa Lord
As we march into this second year of living with the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m struck even more strongly at the truth of humankind’s being one gigantic family, a so-called Blended Family.
What, exactly, do I mean by calling the human population of Earth, at this particular time in our evolution, a “Blended Family?”
Blended means a mix of this and that. When we make our morning smoothies, we blend together such disparate ingredients as blueberries, protein powder, greens, seeds, water and, in my case, lots of inflammation-lessening raw ginger. A push of the button, the sound of whirrrrling for many seconds, and—what once were separate and wildly different things become something completely new! A healthy nutritious drink that makes me smile as I drink it.
Because of my morning smoothie, I know what a miracle “blending” is. For six months before the pandemic began, my beloved consort, Carter, and I traveled all over North America adventuring from our car and camping at a different location practically every night in our comfy tent. Without electricity. Without a blender. Our morning smoothies, were, well, not as smooth as they are when we’re in our home kitchen. Sure, we did our best to blend our usual ingredients, but chop-chop-chopping doesn’t make for a truly blended, smooth mix. It made, for lack of a better description, a crunchy smoothie-soup.
Why Is a Blended Family a Perfect Metaphor for Today’s World?
Currently, in human society, we are finally dissolving age-old barriers, prejudices and, in more and more cases, superstitious customs and drawbacks that have kept our human family in a constant state of divide-and-conquer for millennia. With the onset of this digital age of ours, where news can literally reach anyone in the remotest village in a split second, thanks to a good internet connection, people are finally seeing that we are much more alike than we are different. Fears are dissolving. Love is healing us. Acceptance is the name of our new human motivation. If nothing else, Covid has taught us that. Vaccinations will stop this pandemic, and that takes worldwide cooperation on a scale never seen before in the history of humanity.
I spent an entire decade during the seventies living in the Third World of the West Indies. I was living on a remote island where I was one of only a handful of white people there at the time. Once, I walked into a tiny gathering of smoky shacks where I happened to be helping to organize local peasant farmers into cooperatives. From that experience, I know what it feels like to be screamed at by young children. I saw them running for their lives as fast as they could, away from me, sure that I was a pale ghost, or an alien being, a “thing” of unknown danger. Because these young children in that isolated village, on the island of Dominica—where black people and the indigenous Carib Indians intermingled far from any leftover white colonialists—had never seen a white person before. I was the first white those terrified black children had ever seen.
On that day, when I was the surprise object of these kids’ fears, I laughed. And soon we were all friends, because my face betrayed joy, not any alarm or judgment. Soon, the kids crawled out from their hiding places. They silently joined their parents who were listening to me explain how to best organize themselves, to better sell the provisions (as food grown by locals is called in the Caribbean) on other, faraway islands to where my bi-monthly cargo shipments took boxes of bananas, plantains, citrus, yams and, yes, tons of fresh ginger with which I still make my smoothies today.
How We Got to Be a Blended Family
Since that long-ago day, nearly four decades ago, the world has become a much smaller place. Soon after those island kids were frightened out of their skulls by my white skin, the first television arrived, purchased by the local shopkeeper, always the richest person in every tiny, remote village.
When CNN started arriving in every hamlet around the world, and villagers gathered under the open window of every shopkeeper who had the only TV around, people started seeing how the rest of the world lives.
People recognized themselves in others that they saw on CNN. Whether White, Black, Pink, Purple, or any other color, no matter what culture or religion a person came from—the world transformed almost instantaneously, from isolated pockets of “regional” to an interwoven Blended Family of Humankind.
And … the world continues to blend, harmoniously, beautifully. Sometimes peacefully, sometimes with the ups and downs of any change. But changing from various tribes and nations to a universal Blended Family of Homo Sapiens, we are.
My Blended Family
Read how every family is a microcosm of the macrocosm, our worldwide Blended Family. You can read my family’s story in Zen Love: the Journey of a Blended Family, now available as an Audiobook, and as an ebook and paperback.