Humans are amazing creatures. We shun the unknown, alienate the different, hate the unfamiliar. We bully the new kid in school, toss the nerd in the dumpster, shy away from the weird, quirky loner. We oppose gay marriages, killed millions of Jews, started holy wars, burned witches, and sent planes flying into buildings. We compartmentalize, categorize, scrutinize and divide ourselves, so we can make sense of who we are and where we belong.
We say men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Men only want sex, women never know what they want. Women are better at multitasking, while men are chauvinistic, misogynist pigs who get paid 20% more than women. Gay men dress better, Gay women dress like men. That Gothic looking girl cuts herself, that trance music loving dude must be on drugs. Look! A young girl with an older guy! He must be rich, she must be a gold digger. That black guy is going to rob me, and that white guy must be some trailer park trash. Indians drive cabs and stink, Asians have small eyes and runs laundromats. Fuck that shit. Seriously.
What happened to humanity? What went wrong? Are we beyond salvation? What if I were to remove ALL labels and categories from your vocabulary? No more white people, black people or Asians? No Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or Pagans? No Americans, Red Indians, Israelis, Palestinians, Iraqis, Indians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Chinese, Japanese, North Koreans or South Koreans? No white trash no niggers no red necks no faggots no butches no bitches no gold diggers no nerds no geeks no blondes no brunettes no redheads? No labels, no names, no nations and no religions? What if you forgot all that, and get to start over again? To get to know every new person you meet as individuals? All 6,973,738,433 of them as individuals? What would our world be like then?
The late George Carlin once said:”I love individuals, I hate groups of people. I hate a group of people with a common purpose cause pretty soon they have little hats, arm bands and fight songs. And a list of people they are going to visit at 3 AM. So I dislike groups of people but I love individuals, every person you look at you can see the universe in their eyes if you’re really looking.”
I’m no saint. I’m not trying to teach you a lesson nor am I trying to preach. I’m just trying to keep an open mind.
Here’s a new word I learned today: Sonder. And I shall leave you with this picture: