In yoga and meditation practice, the mantra So Hum is commonly used. A very basic yet incredibly powerful mantra, it is made up of two Sanskrit words. The literal translation of those words;
When the words are put together in a phrase, the translation is understood to be, “I am That”. So, if I am That, what’s the that? Just what, exactly, am I?
Ah yes, the age-old question of self-identity. Truth be told, we are all many things. I am a mother, a business owner, a daughter, a social worker, a novice kiteboarder, a lawyer, a woman of color, a fun awesome person… I could go on forever 😊. But, although I am all these things, not one of them alone sufficiently encapsulates the entirety of who I am.
In Vedic philosophy, So Hum is generally interpreted to mean, “I am one with the universe or ultimate reality”. Putting religious or spiritual beliefs aside for the moment, it is the concept of “oneness” that resonates most with me. While we all have various roles and functions we fill, those roles and functions are in constant flux; shifting and changing all throughout our lives. I’m a mother but will that role and function always look the same? When my kids (god willing) move out to begin their next chapter as fledgling adults, I’ll remain a mother but as an “empty nester”. When I worked full-time as CEO of our household, I was a “stay-at-home mom”. That role has now shifted to “working mom” and hopefully, at some point not too far off, that will be replaced with, “retired mom sitting at home and eating bon-bons”.
So, despite the ever-changing pieces we believe make up our “self”, it seems there’s something more to it: if we’re constantly changing, then who the heck are we really? For myself, I believe that the “who” of who I am is down underneath all the other stuff. It’s the solid surface on which our lives sit and shift. I am the being that lies below the ever-mercurial roles and functions of my life. That I never changes; That I remains the one constant as life swirls around me. And if my true self is what remains after all else is stripped away, then wouldn’t that be true of everyone? Wouldn’t our “I’s”, in essence, all be the same? The way I look at it, regardless of your individual experience, role, function, purpose, we’re all essentially the same. And when we recognize that sameness in others, we collectively form a “oneness”; we form humanity.
I choose to believe that the Reys created Curious George in this spirit as well. I think we love George the way we do because he captures and so vividly illustrates the same universal “kidness” we all share. After all, it was Margaret Rey herself who pointed out:
George can do what kids can’t do. He can paint a room from the inside. He can hang a kite in the sky. He can let the animals out from their pens on the farm. He can do all these naughty things that kids would like to do.
Fundamentally, Curious George represents us all. And, fundamentally, we each see ourselves reflected in him.
And so, it’s through this lens I look when I say The Curious George Store belongs to all of us. Because if it belongs to me, it belongs to you too. I’m still joyously learning the ways Curious George and The Curious George Store will elucidate my roles and functions moving forward. And, because I’m loving this experience so much, I would like more than anything to share it with you.
So, with that, I ask You:
- What role or function do you want the Curious George Store to play in your life? In your family life? In your community life?
- As yourself, how are you going to show up?
You may have no opinion whatsoever and that’s good too – we still want you to enjoy the experience with us. But, for those of you who do want to chime in, let’s hear it. Let’s have the foundation for this new incarnation of The Curious George Store be, and reflect thereinafter, our oneness.
I invite you to join the conversation – leave a comment below.