Saturday, December 13, 2014

That's Different

The practice of discrimination is disturbing and divisive. It's the dehumanization of another person based on criteria that we have determined to be essential. I wish that I could say I am unaffected by it, but that would not be honest. The truth is that it affects us all and we are all also practitioners. Any time we categorize people and cast judgment based on those categories we are fostering discriminatory practices. While we tend to think of racial and ethnic lines as the most polarizing, we are all guilty of minimizing other people based on a number of other comparisons:

  • Single or Married
  • Liberal or Conservative
  • Man or Woman
  • Caucasian or Black (or Hispanic or Asian or Slavic or any other group)
  • Jewish or Gentile
  • Rich or Middle Class (or Poor)
  • Coffee Drinker or Tea Lover
  • Meat Eater or Vegetarian
  • Gator Fan or Dawg Fan
  • North Side of  Town or South Side of Town
  • College Educated or Self Taught
  • Spender or Saver
  • Traditional or Contemporary
  • Your Denomination or The "Other" Denomination

How do we stop this? It isn't by ignoring our differences, but in appreciating our uniqueness and realizing that each one adds value to us as individuals. Collectively our community is better when we are heterogeneous and not completely identical. Can we strive for this unity and appreciate what we each contribute to the beautiful mosaic of our lives? It's a focus that has to begin in the hearts of each of us before it can influence the rest of our community.

No comments:

Post a Comment