There have been six mass extinctions since the Earth was born approximately 4.5 billion years ago. So much has changed in those years, this planet went from being inhabited by single-celled organisms, to having a great diversity of life living on and underneath its' surface. The art of being different is something us humans as a whole seem to succeed at and fail at every moment of every day. Lately, it is the failure of being different that has been bothering me, as it burrows under my skin so that I make not shake it. Alas, my lip biting and patience has worn thin, and I must apologize for what I am about to write, because I may hurt feelings, or contradict opinions.
If we look at the human race from a cold clinical viewpoint we would notice that we are for the most part, minus identical twins, different on the surface. Each and every one of us has our own unique set of DNA that separates ourselves from others. We come in all different shape and sizes and colors. We come from places and incomes and religions. Yet somehow we fail to realize that if you strip away the shape, the size, the color; if you strip away the place, the income, the religion, that underneath we are all the same. We all have a brain and heart. We all have a personality, and we all have the potential to be bad or be good. As I have said many times to many people and will continue to say, you can be an asshole no matter who you are. Despite the vulgarity and negativity of that statement, it is rooted in truth. We let those same things that make us different and unique, define us and separate us. They are merely data points for some statistician to use, to get a better grip on what our diversity looks like, yet because we are human we like to find patterns and discover similarities, but it is in this diversity that sprouts this problem or that problem.
We use these data points, in some of the most horrific ways. In the Middle Ages, we used them to separate the royalty from the peasants from the slaves. With the discovery of the United States, then known as the Americas, we used it again to separate the Native Americans, then referred to at times as "savages," from the Pilgrims, and Europeans who saw their way of life as far superior. We used these data points to not only enslave African Americans and prior to bringing them over, the indigenous people of the Americas, but to justify it, by viewing them as less than us. This was done again with the building of the railroads, through segregation, internment camps, genocide, wars, terrorism, government. I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Everything that separates us that makes different, that makes us unique and special, is that same thing that breeds hate, intolerance, conflict, bigotry, racism, sexism, and downright ignorance.
I would rather have no place in my life for people who are part of the latter list. I understand that these people exist and that some people believe that they are justified in their actions and that there are some viewpoints that you cannot change. I also understand that sometimes people just need to put their feet up and let their hair down. It is important that as a society we accept that change is not immediate and that there needs to be a space for these people have in order to grow and change. I am more than happy and willing to provide that space, but please note that there will be subtle hints that although those separations and differences are important if you let them run wild they can become malignant and cancerous to the beauty within the differences.