Dear Big Daddy Satan,
Why can’t people live and let live? I thought our world was going to be a safer place where people would see past each other’s differences. I thought we were going in that direction…. now I fear we are dividing ourselves into “us” and “them” categories. I try not to do that myself, but sometimes i cant help it. It feels protective to steer clear of guys in big trucks with too many pro military stickers and or a dixie flag. When does this fear, or caution, become “us” and “them” thinking? I dont want to add to the hate, but i also dont want to be naive and unsafe feeling.
Dear Blue Sun,
Living in fear of ‘the other’ is a curse humans carry, passed on down from the trees and savannas where the first people lived. It’s built into human genes.
In our current life, we carry that fear and transfer it onto anyone unknown and especially those who we think are different from us.
It becomes ‘us vs them’ the minute you cower inside facing the unknown, the mystery of who another person is without the wisdom to recognize they are people, just as complex as you are.
Pay attention, who we think are different we fear. Fear dehumanizes the other. Dehumanized people become “them”.
Fear triggers protective responses, we think of self-defense, home defense, family defense. We act in ways that telegraph to others that we think they are bad, evil, harmful or unsafe. They feel that and react back badly toward us.
So round and round it goes, creating polarization and division between people who are essentially the same, with the same needs, drives, hopes, fears and loves. The differences are tiny in compared to what is similar. Belief, preference, life style, background are nothing in comparison to greater similarities.
Blood cells, bone and breath have no politics, religion, preference or affiliations. You are made of these cells, and all of you share the same pattern of life.
So why can’t people live and let live? They are afraid to stop, think, ask and get to know each other.
What can you do to not pass on the hate yet be wise enough to protect yourself from the already living breathing hate of another?
Blue Sun, there is no easy answer. You can not know the mind and heart of another by what they look like, or what their accessories imply. Nor what they believe or whom they pray to. Nor who they love, or what they eat, or who they look to for leadership.
You can check yourself, and every time you feel fear ask yourself “Am I afraid of this person here right now or am I afraid of an idea, or what this person represents to me.”
If you fear an idea, educate yourself. What does that Dixie flag that scares you mean to you? What do military stickers mean to you? And… Are you certain they mean the same thing to that unnamed person you fear?
You can choose to not react from fear unless the moment demands it.
By the moment demands it I mean you are in clear danger from another person or group of persons targeting you.
If you are in danger, leave if you can. If you are hated, and feel unsafe, leave peacefully and go somewhere safe. If you can, understand those who hate you are driven by the same things you are, the fear gifted to them as monkeys in the trees. Try not to,hate other humans for their flaws, but recognize you carry the same flaws they do.
The only way you guys are going to get along and live and let live is if each of you, individually, one by one practice doing that every day of your life.
This means you.
Big Daddy Satan