No Names Please!

Listening to the radio news, it is appalling to hear how the press uses labels to divide people from each other. This divide and conquer tactic pits any group against another.  No one is immune; we are exposed to harmful names and labels every day. We hear names, races, political affiliation, religious affiliations and labels that are unnecessary. Labels and name-calling are the dividing line that separates humans from caring about each other.

Black white yellow blonde ginger democrat republican Muslim, Christian or Jew- each label brings forth good and bad images. Why do we separate ourselves in this manner? We are simply humans with different physical traits, cultures and life experiences. The differences should bring us together not separate us.

~Others opinions of you does not have to become your reality~ Les Brown

It begins with the grade school bully. The first experience when someone points out a physical difference we all possess. We are not meant to look alike, yet children feel the sting of humiliation by someone pointing out a physical attribute deemed different. Most children go on from this experience while others remember it for life. This would be considered a learning tool if it stopped on the school playground but it does not. How unfortunate it is to have your self-esteem ruined because someone chose to be mean-spirited. Everyone is beautiful to someone. If one cannot accept someone by his or her physical attributes, then move on without pointing it out. The accused know their own flaws far better than anyone.

~I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy as a cause for withdrawing from a friend~ Thomas Jefferson

What do wars, murder and bloodshed have in common? Each event was triggered by opinions tied to raw emotion. Opinions teach us about each other. We think differently shaped by experiences and own unique life journey. Instead of staying close-minded ranting and raving about your rights, stop, calm your emotion and listen. Have respect to hear another point of view. It is perfectly ok to disagree, but have respect and openness to listen. The world needs more listening and less violence.

~You never truly understand someone until you have walked in their shoes~

Cultural differences are the biggest obstacle. Who are we to judge how other cultures choose to live? Each culture has its own set of rules set back from the beginning of time. Just because we do not agree with other cultures rules, does not mean they have to change for us. Striving to change other cultures goes back since the beginning of time. After thousands of years, we have not learned anything. Culture is the foundation of whom we are as people. Before I get a thousand opinions about human atrocities in other countries, I am well aware of these facts. Any one’s interference is pushing foreign ideas onto someone else’s world. How is that respecting their culture?  No one will fully understand someone’s way of life without living inside the culture. Walk a mile in their shoes, as long as they do not infringe on another’s lifestyle, then let it be.

Regardless of our differences, we are all the same. Next time the urge to judge someone strikes, take a moment to look at him or her. Try to see they are like you shaped by different life experiences. Would you be any different if you walked in their shoes? Don’t you think it time to step outside your comfort zone and learn about each other?