What we do to “others,” we do to “us”
After thousands of years of being on the merry-go-round of human existence, we still can’t seem to let go of our intolerance and our hate of other people who differ from us in ways they didn’t or can’t choose. Arbitrary hate is nonsensical.
Hate and intolerance can never be solutions.
Hating Random Human Features Is Illogical
You’re white, I’m non-white.
Your skin is light, my skin is dark.
You’re male, I’m female.
You’re the beneficiary of male “supremacy,” and I’m the potential victim of male “supremacy.”
You’re the beneficiary or the potential beneficiary of white privilege, and I’m the beneficiary of systemic racism.
You inherited wealth or membership into the exclusive club of white privilege and/or the Boy’s club. And I’m still trying to break the glass ceilings of racism, sexism, sexual biases, and/or economics.
You’re Israeli, I’m Palestinian (or whatever).
You’re tall, I’m short. You have blue eyes and mine are dark brown.
Do you see what I mean?
Here’s the thing.
How does it make any sense to despise someone for features and traits they didn’t and can’t choose?
Is it logical to feel pride or superiority over others for features and traits we didn’t and can’t choose?
Most of what we choose to find intolerable about other people are just the cards dealt by the goddess of fortune. And most of us just desire a level playing field to play out the hand we’ve been randomly dealt.
Honestly, I’m almost out of hope that we’ll ever be able to throw out the rubbish of nonsensical hate and intolerance, so we may experience the following.
Someone Always Comes Along
Thelonious “Sphere” Monk, an American jazz pianist and composer, died in 1982. But the words below that he spoke decades ago are a viable, practical approach to curing all that ails our society.
They tried to get me to hate White people, but someone would always come along and spoil it.~ Thelonious “Sphere” Monk
Yes, all. For example:
- They tried to get me to hate White people, but a White person came along, stood by me, and defended me against White racists. My life is richer for the White people in it: David, Tim, Catalin, and Lianne.
- They tried to get me to hate men, but David, Michael, and Catalin came along and showed me unconditional love and respect as a woman and as a human being.
- They tried to get me to hate gays, but how can any sane person hate and be intolerant of Casey Gerald, Michael, my brothers, and so many others?!
Humanity has been around more than a minute. And still, we’re having the same tiresome, circular arguments, conversations, and misconduct on the value of others who have the audacity to be born different from us. Why the hell are we seeking out life on other planets when we still can’t respect and support all of the sentient, native life here on Earth?!
I’m exhausted from all this hate, aren’t you?!
If we’re to cure, once and for all, systemic racism, systemic sexism, systemic sexual biases, and any other -ism, each member of humanity must participate. The solution to hate and intolerance requires that we treat each other as individuals. Other people are not “other,” they are us.
Hate hurts not only the targets but also the haters. Of course, we live in a menacing climate of hate and intolerance — and we can’t pretend what is, isn’t. But if we would all set aside our arbitrary hate of “others,” someone always comes along and “spoil” our nonsensical preconceptions.