As a species, we have found certain artificial divisions to be useful. Drawing lines in the sand has allowed us to take stands, to address injustice, to form aliances and work toward mutual goals. Having insiders and outsiders allows for group cohesion, for consensus building. But we have forgotten that these boundaries are not real, that the people on the other side of them are still people just like us. Our differences are far more superficial than they initially appear. They are all washed entirely away by the reality of our shared predicament, just as easily as drawings in sand are erased by waves.
It has been very popular of late, more so than ever, to define a group of people different from oneself as enemies. Then, the other can be hated, accused of harboring the vilest intentions, even stripped of any redeeming humanity. It is Us versus Them, in endless reiteration. They are what is wrong here. They are the problem. They are keeping the rest of Us down, or They envy what We have and want to deprive Us of it. They are poor, rich, middle class, urban, rural, foreign, domestic, overeducated, ill informed, of a particular ethnic origin or religious persuasion, and this is what makes Them the treacherous opposition. By contrast We are poor, rich, middle class, urban, rural, foreign, domestic, overeducated, ill informed, of a particular ethnic origin or religious persuasion, and this is what makes Us noble crusaders for Our righteous cause.
Enough racism, sexism, classism. Enough of 99% versus 1%. Our whole species has got to get it together and come to consensus on a few important matters, or else all of us, every last percent will suffer.
100 percent of us have a set of problems in common, and squabbling over who has it the worst isn’t solving anything at all.
100 percent of us are fragile, mortal creatures living in an environment that we cannot guarantee will remain hospitable to our kind… and we don’t have anywhere to escape to should it fail us.
100 percent of us share the air, the water, the ground from which all of our support is drawn.
100 percent of us are members of a social species, biologically required to be interdependent and cooperative in order to attain optimal mental and physical health.
100 percent of us have dreams and aspirations for ourselves, our loved ones, or our ideals.
100 percent of us have fears, misgivings, and regrets, whether we voice them to anyone else or keep them secret.
100 percent of us have the capacity to be so much more than we are now, to exchange complacency and excuse making for cooperation and progress making.
It all starts with dropping the pretense that we have to be devisive, that there have to be losers so that there can be winners. If we applied one tenth of the passion, the creativity, and the intelligence that we devote to zero or subzero sum games to alternative strategies that let everyone win, our Earth would be a paradise beyond our imagining.
There is no they. There is only us. The sooner we spread that message and start living the truth of it, the better off we will all be. No exceptions.