Happy new year! Oh boy, these days it seems like each year is better than the next… just kidding — sort of. We went through the ringer last year: pestilence, poverty, politicians who were ready to burn it all down and hang the vice president on the front steps of the capitol.

This was the first holiday season in 20 years that America wasn’t at war. Well, except for within itself. But then, this country hasn’t really enjoyed a peaceful existence since the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria hit the shore. Just imagine if those guys had been welcomed in the same way we treat immigrants today. Maybe there was a contingent of Native Americans pushing for them to be put in cages until they could ship them back across the pond, but the majority thought that was barbaric, remaining open-minded and cooperative.

Throughout human history the issue of our differences keeps bubbling up to the surface, causing ongoing pain and suffering. Race, religion, gender, sexual preference… none of these have been proven to exist after this life (neither have we, my husband would remind me). So why do we spend so much time discussing, analyzing, criticizing and killing each other over whether or not we neatly fit into these arbitrary boxes? I’m over it. 

As long as it’s consensual, I say give it a go! I do have one request, however. We need a singular pronoun for people who don’t wish to use he or she. “They” is already overused and causes unnecessary confusion, so I propose we use “Ye.” As in, “Ye went to the store because yiers fridge was empty.”

Transgender members of Native American tribes were often revered.* And similar to the way the science behind breathing through one’s nose surfaces throughout time — only to be buried again and again (also passed down through the generations by Native Americans) — exposing ourselves to different kinds of people broadens our E.Q. (Emotional Quotient.) But, then a novice gets into power and war begins anew… Myriad health/dental issues could be solved by simply teaching our children to breathe through their noses and peace could be achieved by teaching them to seek out/accept diversity. Though, I suppose until we figure out how to calm our fear of the unknown, and instead embrace it, we’ll keep forgetting and relearning the secrets to thrive in this life.

Speaking of the collective unknown, I want to talk about the one thing we all have in common but don’t speak of. Death. I have a few theories I’d like to run by everyone, and I can’t do it if he/she/ye keeps leaving the room every time I bring it up. 

I would also like to propose we start celebrating our loved one’s deathdays in much the same way we celebrate their birthdays. I would like to be able to sit around eating cake and reliving the good times we shared, without accusations of being “morbid” or “stuck in one of the five stages of death.” I know death is an end, but I also believe it to be a chance at rebirth, an opportunity to experience another perspective.

I love meeting people who look at life completely differently than I do. I often think I should get to know more old sailors and bikers, both to shift my consciousness and to ensure even representation at my funeral. If I died right now, there would be plenty of preppy cowpokes and tattooed old punks, but maybe no more than one or two Harley Davidsons in the parking lot. 

Can any of us really know what it’s like to be each other? I have a cousin who sees life in math equations, and another one who sees colors attached to people. Perhaps the point of life is to consider it from as many angles as possible, using the one body we each get, and if we live long enough, maybe even end up with the ability to walk in the shoes of our so-called enemy. Seems like the Native Americans may have already known this when the Anglos showed up thinking life was just a game to win or lose.