It amazes me how the simplest of concepts can bring so many people together yet there is still so much division between us all. Gatherings like this one at Descend on Bend are a great example of a few hundred people coming together to enjoy the commonality we all share.
However within this community of vanlifers there are so many differences between us all. There are meat eaters, vegans, conservatives, liberals, old run down vans, new shiny vans, poor people, rich people, different religious beliefs, etc. There is no doubt we all have far more differences than commonalities. Yet despite the many differences we all share we are somehow are able to come together respect, enjoy, and love each other.
It makes you wonder how does this phenomenon of so many people all getting along and supporting each other despite their vast differences take place. There are obviously many layers and reasons to this. However one stands out to me most. When I think about how much division there seems to be in the world today and contrast it to small moments in time during gatherings like this there is one thing that stands out the most to me.
It is the “gathering”. When we gather together like this we are face to face in such a real way. We are not communicating with each other through a screen. We have gathered together face to face, flesh to flesh, and in the spirit of the commonality set before us. The screen causes people to interact with levels of disrespect few would ever have face to face. And yes I realize the irony in that I am typing this on a screen. The fact is though, that when we are face to face we feel the hurt on the face in front of us, just as we feel the love and joy. When we gather together with an initial intention of this love and joy we feel it right away. The strength of that is powerful. It makes us realize how much better it feels than to be divided and therefore we hold on to it a bit stronger...continued in comments...👇🏼