Most people love a label. We like to compartmentalise everything. We pop ‘it’ in its box and we feel secure in the knowledge that we now know exactly what ‘it’ now is. We don’t get it back out of the box for another look very often once it has been given its label either. We can now judge it, worship it, revile it, discredit it or love it and it is okay because we have labelled it, we know what ‘it’ is and our minds are set.
With every new report of imminent war, fingers on triggers and terror attacks we all slowly go into ourselves with fear and start pointing the finger of blame on to unseen populations. We accuse whole groups of hiding those who would harm us. Every person who has the same ethnicity will be looked upon with suspicion. We can’t continue to do this to ourselves.
Wars are started and fought over this labelling habit. Communities are split. We judge on appearances or personal preferences far too quickly when, in fact, everybody is different regardless of their skin colour, religion or sexual preference. Deep down we all know that but it is fear which can stop us from being rational about it.
This mass labelling has resulted in groups of people and their religion being accused of the same crimes as other people who have committed them and belong to the same religious or ethnic group. This is led by fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of the hidden. Unknown because it is assumed all those people are dangerous terrorists and hidden because people think these terrorists are everywhere. Of course, this is ideal for the actual terrorists because not only does it make them look as if they are everywhere and all-powerful, it also stirs up bad feeling between innocent parties and their accusers and leads more of the innocent on the path of resentment, thereby giving fresh meat to the terrorists.
It’s a nasty, vicious cycle which only gives power away.
A habit like this is not a new thing. Those whose countries have fought others in bloody battles in the past century or so are brought up to remember those battles and the atrocities acted out by the losing side through education in schools. This helps us remember those who suffered and died for us and to also make sure we remember never to do certain things ourselves again but it also reinforces we should be afraid of that culture or blame the people still alive in the next generation for what their ancestors did. A further note on this would be for us to remember it was the government of the country who caused the war not the civilians themselves. A few people, deciding for all.
We need to remember that there is hardly a country on this planet which has led a blameless existence when it comes to warmongering and war-related atrocities. None of our leaders are above reproach and none of them made war with others just for the good of the people.
As citizens of those countries, do we take the actions of our past leaders and feel the guilt of those deeds ourselves, personally, every single day? Of course not. Yet we can often look at someone else’s geographical location and presume them evil. Hmm.
It is what we do NOW which matters, folks! Don’t judge your neighbours and people you see in the street out of fear or conditioning. See them as the individuals they are and allow them the freedom to choose to live their own preferences, as long as it harms no other, without fear until that fear is earned and not merely speculated upon.
We must learn to accept one another if we are to save ourselves as a species.
There is nothing happy, clappy about that statement. The more we fight and the greedier we become then the more we fear and the more we misjudge and the greater the risk of our own extinction.
The change must start with us as individuals.