Can what “makes us all different” ever really be good for humanity as a whole? We celebrate cultural, religious, philosophical, political and social differences as a matter of course these days, but it’s my belief that this is what drives us apart, and ruins the world that we could all, so easily, enjoy together.
At this point, I want to leave the “individual” out of the discussion. We are plagued by the singularly ignorant and selfish in this world, but I want to focus on the “groups” we create, the “tribes” if you will.
The obvious example is politics. Like religion, the majority of any population is at the mercy of a few. Through either a simple lack of intelligence, misplaced trust or understanding by the majority, or a combination of each, a minority can easily take control. Politicians can manipulate, cheat and lie in order to gain the votes of the masses, because votes mean power, and power is a way to gain position and profit. Politicians will use money and every aforementioned “difference” in their repertoire, to gain favour among the demographic they wish to entice first. They’ll appeal to a particular religious sect, a particular area, or to the largest denomination of likely voters to their cause. It’s a process that breeds it’s own corruption. Of course, different political affiliations can lead to interesting discourse over drinks, but situations that produce much more hostility can also arise. And as bad as they are, in a democracy, politicians can only be voted in by the people…
But then, without politics, how could people of different opinions, ever make a change for good? And how else do we appease the majority? And so, we get what is called the “party divide”. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a different affiliation, but it might be nice if we all simply wanted the best for a nation, without the selfish reasoning or the corruption. But still, a population is divided.
Organised faith itself was devised to create power for the few by uniting a fellowship which at the time, was used for power. Like politics, the ignorance of the masses was, and is, used to gain a majority shared belief in the same way that politics depends on votes. Church leaders have profited for centuries through everything from war to tithes. And like politics, different beliefs have separated nations, and those people within them, leading to war, terrorism and of course, profit. Of course, some good things come from it. People will do good things to impress their particular favourite entity, do things “in the name of a God”…but why not just do them for the sake of simply being a good person?
Whatever the beliefs, organised faith, being man-made, is still the largest obstruction to peace and unity in the world today in that it promotes it’s own segregation. Let’s not forget the selfishness that organised faith can fill it’s followers with either, even when the excuse of personal interpretation is made. For example, when millions of Jews were suffering a huge genocide, the Catholic church did nothing…nothing! And of course, the world is plagued by Islamic Militants, particularly in East Africa and the Middle East, who commit atrocious acts on those they consider infidels, with an unwavering belief that they are doing the “will of God”. But, religious groups will protect themselves from accusation, protecting their “members”. The Pope and numerous Bishops will deny prosecutions of rampant child abuse in the priesthood. Christian churches fail to denounce organisations such as Westboro Church whilst Muslim clerics will be the last to denounce Islamic extremist terrorism, if they do at all. Again, where is the “humanity” in that? Is this the unity and peace that these churches and religions preach? Are these acts of prejudice, hatred and intolerance, that we see all too often, really the example that we should allow to be indoctrinated into our children, and therefore our society?
Social elements in society can lead to dis-unity too. For example, a simple support for a football team becomes almost tribal on match days and beyond! This is perhaps a friendly rivalry that, on the whole, is not harmful. Sexual preferences and class divide are major dividers of people leading to division within nations and religion.
Patriotism is a great way to unite a particular nation, but again, that separates it from the humanity in other nations. I remember the Silver Jubilee in England, Royal Weddings and such like, where masses of the population united in a shared joy. But as I say, that kind of patriotism breeds it’s own issues of segregation. Patriotism is easy to see as a form of nationalism, which itself is now a word most associated now with veiled racism.
So, let’s celebrate culture instead! As a European, I don’t really feel that I have a culture or heritage as such. There is no celebration of European Heritage as far as I know, and certainly no real unity amongst the separate nations. We have heritage within nations, but nothing outside of that…other than the Euro! My ancestors may have been African, enslaved in Libya, raped and pillaged by Vikings, and were most certainly enslaved by many more, including the Romans! So it’s hard to know exactly which culture I should celebrate! But, I have intelligent friends here in St. Lucia, of African descent. They’ll add quotations to their Facebook pages, all from people of colour, “like” pages or groups with the word “black” in the title etc. I asked one why she never added quotations from Caucasians, Hispanics or Asians and she didn’t have an answer. This is just one of many examples of the promotion of a culture, that sadly more often than not, depends more upon the colour of the skin, rather than the actual heritage. Now is all of this celebrating a culture, taking pride in a heritage, or encouraging a segregation? We can understand the wanting of unity after the atrocities of slavery, but then, many of the world’s populations have themselves suffered from slavery at some point, and still do. Again, why not celebrate ALL of humanity, rather than a particular creed or heritage? Why not ensure that such discrimination can be a thing of the past, once and for all?
I recently suggested to a friend of mine, who celebrates Buddhism as the philosophy to change the world, that in order to be effective, the vast majority of the world need to follow the same guidance. People who claim to be “spiritual” or spiritually “enlightened”, and most are just “claiming”, are in a minority in what we see as the “real world”. I can think positively, envision all the “peace and light” in the universe, control the energy around me, but then I still have to leave the sanctuary of my home and be cheated or abused by a majority who have been bred to be greedy and selfish! Spirituality is really now a tag that people prefer to stating that they are “religious”. Again, it doesn’t matter what you call yourself, provided you are a genuinely good person. But again, groups are formed….and we divide where we could unite.
Using a “spirituality” on a personal level, in the hope that the masses will take on a similar set of moral values, is a positive thing however. But all too often, and as with most of these philosophies, the attempted enlightenment of the individual is exactly that, a simple method of a selfish individual, by which they can feel better about themselves.
Recently, I myself have expressed my own distaste for atrocities in the world, such as slavery, rape and carnage in places around the world. Two friends of mine, whom consider themselves “spiritual”, found my conversation to be “negative”. In fact, both stated a preference to not talking about such things when nothing could be changed. Is this the way that spiritualism can change the world? I think not.
Maybe we just have to get real? Maybe the world is meant to be like this?
From the beginning of time, we have separated ourselves. 350,000 years ago, as cave dwellers, we formed tribes…battling other tribes, oppressing the weak, taking land and enslaving or killing any foes. And not much has changed since. Despite all of that history, all of the lessons we might have learnt, we still advocate the very same behaviour.
Right now, there are maybe 27 million slaves in the world, children are trafficked for sex, 4 yr old girls are being beheaded in Syria, with atrocities in other wars too. Women are stoned to death in the name of Islam. Women are raped in India and female infants are killed where the preference is for male offspring. People starve whilst others bemoan the fact that their iPhone is now 6 months out of date. Selfish and ignorant people breed children faster than we can educate a better moral standard into those already here.
And we have all of that, because of our divisions. Whether they be nations, heritage, sects, cults, political or religious affiliations…the list is endless.
Is a better place for us at all possible? Could we really have a world without the atrocities we witness? If we really want a world in which we can truly be equal, where opportunities are for all, where happiness is universal…..then it’s really very simple…isn’t it?
You could simply take away all of those differences which divide us. There would be no politics, religion, race, gender, creed, culture, ownership, money or monetary value. In effect, you take away the reason to fight, profit from, segregate or hate. In spiritual circles, this is what is known as the “4th Dimension”, resulting in a shared common set of morals and values.
Of course, you’ve got to raise public awareness for the cause. You could start a group, a club…but wait, that takes money. And even with that, you’d at least need printed T. Shirts…no…hang on…this is all separation itself! What about using power or influence, calling your MP, your Congressman? But then you’d need money to lobby…to get the votes…but wait…the power, the corruption! And then you’d need 85% of individuals to suddenly decide that they no longer wish to be selfish…which, let’s face it, is not going to happen in the world we have created.
And so it goes…
I believe that the more that mankind “pigeon-holes” itself into groups, the less mankind can flourish through humanity. Whether spiritual, religious, spotted or green…we need honesty, selflessness and proven morality…not more reasons to continue the tribal mentality… which has only ever proven to divide.