Why don't we teach our children from a young age that they, as Carl Sagan put it, are stardust? Why don't we tell them the iron in their blood and the calcium in their bones are the same elements that make up the stars and the ground upon which they walk? Why don't we help them make these connections instead of teaching them about geology and biology and astronomy separately?

Why do we so desperately want to keep everything separate? Different neighborhoods don't mix. Different school groups don't mix (before I worked at the library, I did not know anyone outside my own department at the college I attend). Children and elders don't mix. Thirty-somethings and teenagers don't mix. But these relationships should be fostered. I believe they are imperative.

And it's not just relationships between people I'm talking about. Many people do not establish a relationship with animals. Or plants. Or the sun. Or water. They believe they are separate, when in truth, they are not.

What would be so bad about mixing? What would be so bad about spreading the word that we are all one? We are made of the same elements and we live on the same planet. And when I say we, I mean the rocks, the ocean, the conifers, the hummingbirds, the spiders, the daisies, every single thing on Earth.

We are the same. And, yes, we are all different as well. We have individual characteristics that make us as interesting and diverse as the snowflakes in a blizzard. That is the beautiful paradox. It is our sameness and our differences that make this world an amazing place. We are all alike but different. We are parts of the same whole. We are all connected and separate.

Why don't we teach this?

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