by Gabriel Lopez Kafati, president, Blind LGBT Pride International
Relationships: Life is full of them. We form, break, foster, and nurture them throughout the course of our lifetime. Whether family, social, business, professional, religious, or love, all relationships imply a connection. In turn, each connection we make results in giving up part of our autonomy. I like to think of a connection as that space in our lives where our individuality forms a bond with that of others. The beauty of that space is that no one loses their individuality, but we all come together as unique parts of a whole. The best example I can think of to illustrate this concept is the rainbow.
Many people have asked me why the rainbow has such a strong meaning in the LGBT community. My first instinct is to say: “Because it is so cute!” Obviously, the meaning goes beyond the aesthetic beauty of all those colors perfectly arranged in an order that almost exudes perfection. I like to think of each color of the rainbow as one of us. Each color so unique, so distinct from each other, yet so peacefully co-existing next to each other, connected in a way that there is no vacuum between one another. If you analyze the rainbow, you will realize that no one color tries to taint the next one; nor does it try to take up more space than the others. They all connect in a solid harmony; each color displays its own beauty; and the rainbow as a whole acquires its majesty from the unity of all colors.
My ideal for the relationships that form our society is this rainbow concept. As in every relationship, of course, there are certain ingredients that need to be present in order to preserve the connection. When it comes to these ingredients, I like to keep it simple. We need love and respect to make this magical connection happen. When our actions and thoughts come from a place of unconditional love, we are able to see in others our own reflection, despite our notorious differences. Love with no conditions means that we accept each other just as we are, without trying to change each other in attention to our own perceptions. Moreover, unconditional love drives us to embrace the differences in others, and it also ignites a genuine desire to learn more about those who are different from us. When it comes to respect, we only need to think of how respectfully the colors of the rainbow align themselves. It’s as if they knew that by themselves, they couldn’t possibly be a rainbow. They know the difference between each other, yet the unity amongst all of them is what creates such an unparalleled phenomenon.
At the end of the day, I truly believe we all seek the same things from our relationships. Complementing each other; finding that sense of belonging; and ultimately, adding peace and happiness to our lives. Once again, the rainbow represents all of that. The colors of the rainbow complement the beauty of each other by proudly standing next to each other. With its arch shape, the rainbow soars in the sky as if sheltering all of us under a single home where we all belong. The moment in which the rainbow appears is a signal that no matter how shaky or stormy things may be, there will always be the promise of a happy and peaceful future. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be other storms, but that there will always be a new beginning after each storm. Today, I invite you to view your relationships as part of a rainbow. Create your own rainbow connection and experience how delightful it is to be so unique, yet so connected; so different, yet so together; and, most importantly, so distinct yet so equal.