we are all brothers and sisters

I am not afraid to say it; I love family reunions. I love spending time with so many familiar faces, these constant people whom I’ve grown to know, respect and love. Aunts and uncles and cousins reminding me of who I am and from whom I am descended.

Each personality is utterly unique, each of us with our own challenges and gifts. Beauty, intellect, wealth, prestige, humility, depression, addiction, illness. Relationships floundering, yet somehow, thriving. Parents mingling with their children and step-children and parents and brothers and sisters.

At my recent family reunion, I noticed the distinct thread between us, the connection. Something called blood. We are the continuations of Ray and Lucy Zaller. We are married to their continuations. But we are more than that, we are also partners, family, friends.

The people in the picture below, my family, are bound by two souls on the other side, my grandparents. Don’t we look like every other family in the world? Don’t we all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth, in that order? Isn’t everyone on this earth connected by the souls on the other side? Isn’t it human blood that courses through your veins and mine?

the three sheets of paper are "place-holders" for the family members who could not join us

On this day in July in Seattle, you wouldn’t know it. I see hate all around me. I see shootings, I see road rage, I see fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers. I see carelessness and sadness. People believing and perpetuating lies about themselves and each other. People thinking they are inherently different from their neighbors, that they are somehow superior or inferior.

No one has time anymore to notice themselves in their co-workers, spouses, or even their own children. We are too busy, perhaps too scared to look deeply into the eyes of another. If we did, we might recognize that the blackness we see is not blackness at all, but a reflection. We might notice the life force beating our hearts and filling the clouds with water. Call it God or call it the Universe or call it nothing at all because you cannot change the truth; we are all fingers of the same creation.

Slander, and you’ve slandered yourself.

Steal, and you’ve stolen from yourself.

Kill, and you’ve killed yourself.

It’s no wonder we live in a broken world. Until man sees that true power is power over your own mind, that true love is love for all, the paradise we seek, the “happiness,” will be elusive. But I find comfort in knowing, with conviction, that nothing is impossible. Life can be better for our children’s children, and it’s up to us.

We are all brothers and sisters on this planet, we must learn to love each other.

What are you doing to take care of your brothers and sisters?


  1. What a beautiful post! And, I love your family portrait. I enjoy family reunions, too, though I haven’t been to any as an adult.

    We are all brothers and sisters, connected to each other through a lot more than we’d often like to believe. Recognizing this truth, at least for me, is incredibly humbling. It makes me less willing, less able to judge others or myself.


    1. Thank you, Jessica. Judging is a difficult habit to break, we are all guilty of it. The more we practice acceptance rather than judgment, the better off we will all be. I truly believe this.


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