The t-shirt hanging in the lobby of my yoga studio caught my eye at first because of its vibrant colors: an ombré blend of royal purple that blurred into aquamarine, then bled into the color of pistachio ice cream. But it was the message silk-screened on the front that made me pause, close the door that I’d opened to leave the studio, and sit on the stone bench beside the stacks of blankets we use in our practice. It read:

RACE: Human

Granted, the pithy saying was printed on a swath of cotton, but the concepts were simple and profound. Regardless of our creed, our house of worship (or lack thereof), our skin color or our voting status, we all share space on the same globe. All of us strive for agency, the power to choose for ourselves, and cherish the rights that support our ability to forge a path of our very own. All humans flourish in an environment of love and respect; when we are seen and known for who we are, and accepted despite our flaws and missteps. Choosing to honor our fellow beings’ quest for freedom, and their need for love, shouldn’t be as difficult as it sometimes seems to be. Perhaps if we focused less on the labels that separate us (i.e., black/white, man/woman, Republican/Democrat, carnivore/vegan), and look instead for what we mirror in one another—a need to be loved and to love, a desire for independence of thought and body—we could create a planet where the only stretching we had to do was our reaching towards one another.