This is a mingling of thoughts and rambles that bounce around together following a couple of honest questions …
Why are differences so hard for people to accept?
Why are we so stuck on concepts like right and wrong?
In this country we have differing opinions, beliefs, hair, skin, eyes, nails, fingers, toes, and thoughts—we are different, period. I could look toward every individual person around me and find a hundred different ways we are not alike. I could strike up a conversation with the stranger next to me on the subway and if I wanted to find one thing different outside of appearance, I know 3 different areas of inquisition to explore: religion, politics, or ethnicity and race.
We’re ugly in our judgment of others. I know that sounds like a harsh statement, but if you don’t believe me then just turn on the cable new stations, or hop on any comment board, or maybe even dare to post your own beliefs about hot button subject matter somewhere where other people will read them and see what they have to say. I think there is a real reason why politics and religion are avoided when civility is required.
Maybe that’s just it. Maybe in the age of Facebook, we feel we can voice our opinions without direct confrontation. We can let out how we really feel and from what I see, what some people really feel is ugly.
I grew up a bit of an idealist. I didn’t focus on difference in a negative way. If I saw difference I kind of ran toward it. I wanted to explore and understand. I was the child picking up random things on the ground and being told, “Don’t touch that!” But I had to touch it to find out what it was! My nature leaned toward curiosity. I guess to this day, I still love to learn and explore. If I do have fear, I face it. I was afraid of heights, so I went hang gliding. I am afraid of public speaking, so I am taking acting classes. I don’t believe giving into or denying our fears does us any good service. It just spreads more fear, because often times what we are afraid of is scarier than what we face in fear. How many years have I spent dreading the stage, afraid of speaking up in classes from elementary school through college? How many years have I dreaded any moment in which I had to talk in front of 4 or more people? From my memory, probably just about every year I can remember. I feared it, but each and every time my fear was worse than the actual event. My fear is what frightens me; because the moment I let go of it I’m fine.
The heart of me loves people. I love sharing, teaching, educating, and inspiring people. I love making a difference. I believe our human difference isn’t all that different. I believe it is the fear of the difference that frightens us as humans. The “fanatical” Muslim is a terrorist. The “immoral” Homosexual is a sexual predator. The “illegal” Immigrant is a leaching parasite. The “fundamental” Christian is a brainwashed zealot. And I am “idealistic” Intuitive with her head in the clouds. We all have names for each other. We all have the group we fear. We tag them, bag them, and then watch them closely to make sure they don’t move too much because that might give us the willies!
You go to any comment board and watch the Liberals and Conservatives argue back and forth. If you don’t choose a side one thing will pop out at you: they are both saying the same thing, perhaps maybe just in two different languages. Those languages are frightening to the other, because they just can’t understand it. One group is saying white—the other blue—both convinced they know the other is wrong. The more they argue the scarier the other side becomes. They become that group that will take away their rights, their beliefs, their identity for this great country.
If I am arguing, “It’s white, white, white!” And you argue back at me, “It’s blue, blue, blue!” Are we not the same? Are we not coming at each other with the same force? We may be seeing things differently, but our essence is the same: our human nature is exactly the same. We fight to be right, but looking at the state of this country leads me to ask, “How far have we come just to be right?”
There is no such thing as being right. There is no such thing as being wrong. We are taught from such a young age the difference between right and wrong; yet, it’s the perception of right and wrong we learn. We turn to the Bible, Koran, maybe even Grandma and Grandpa for our moral compass. We are told homosexuality is wrong, abortion is wrong, masturbation is wrong, murder is wrong, going to church is right, having a family is right, even so far as believing something wrong is right.
However, all those things have nothing to do with right and wrong. Someone might ask, “How is murder not wrong?” Well, someone else could argue that killing someone in self defense isn’t wrong. Who am I to decide right and wrong when perception is everything? We have laws that prevent someone from taking a life senselessly. Our laws are set up to protect us, to allow us to pursue our lives in safety, and to act with responsibility. They are created so we may all live within the confines of civility as equal under the law. They are not set up in a black and white, right or wrong structure because the truth is that life is not black and white.
Right and wrong fail in helping us see through an empathetic mind set. I may be gay, to some who do not understand me they may say, “Her lifestyle is morally wrong.” They can say that because they are not gay. They do not understand my struggles, my triumphs, my self reflection, my acceptance, and my love. And they may never understand because they never grew out of the right and wrong mentality. They may never choose to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to see the beauty, to see the pain, to see that outside their view is a world seen by billions of other people, who just might think they are wrong as well and that is where the battle exists..
If we lived under the law of right and wrong, we’d crucify each other—not one person would be left alive, because there is not one person who wouldn’t see someone else as wrong. My actions of holding my lover at night are wrong to some. Your actions of judging someone else are also wrong. But what is right? Knowing you love someone? Caring about your fellow human being? Getting to know someone else past your own fears? I would say those aren’t right: they are real. They are not part of the illusion of fear that creates the idea of right and wrong in the first place.
Some people might fear that if we didn’t have this neat little package of right and wrong we’d live in chaos. However, I think if we are taught from an early age to listen to our voice of truth, we’d know that what we do in love for ourselves is for the betterment of all. I don’t go out and murder someone because I was told it’s wrong. I don’t do it because it is not in my heart to do it. I don’t have it in my heart to harm another human being. I want to heal the world and that is why I work so hard on healing me.
There has to come a time where we do away with these foolish concepts of right and wrong. We have to stop forcing them on each other like it is some duty from God for us to have everyone else conform to our understanding of right and wrong.
I have to ask, “Isn’t this country big enough for all views?” Can’t I live my life under the governing laws of this countries jurisdiction, as you? Shouldn’t we be more focused on the ideals of striving toward equality in this country? The truth is that if we keep going down this road of looking toward everyone in difference, then no one will be equal. No one will be right because everyone will be wrong. And if this happens the seeds of fear will be planted. And from coast to coast, like a forest it will grow and spread, and we will be living the illusion of fear.
I don’t want that for us. I want the truth. I look at my computer, I see my tabs: Facebook, Twitter, my E-mail, and so on and I see potential. I know right now, a lot of misinformation is getting into the hands of people who live in fear. I know so many people want to view others as wrong; yet, I also know truth is stronger than right and wrong, because truth is in both. Truth exists in everything and once truth is found the arguing stops because truth never needs to be defended. I believe the truth will come out. I believe we will conquer the fear dividing this country and we will see that all along we’ve been looking in the mirror and just arguing with ourselves.
I do not think I am right in my view. I just think I had something to say and maybe this is just me conquering another fear: my fear that we can’t get over our differences and grow beyond the views of right and wrong. When I look in the mirror I can’t argue anymore, because I see you in me. I see us struggling together. Maybe this is where we all could see eye to eye.