We need to stop letting them divide us.
Everywhere we turn there are divisions and separations being exploited, capitalized upon, and heavily marketed. Many of them are completely and utterly artificial, while others are obvious but superficial.
The artificial include religions, sexuality, nationality, generation, and other similar notions.
The superficial include the sexes, skin colors, hair and eye colors, height, weight, and similar.
No matter whether the dividing factor is artificial or superficial, it is still completely unnecessary. It is employed mostly to create conflict and get people thinking about separations.
Take generational divides, for example. Can you have a conversation about Baby Boomers, Generation X, or Millennials without saying something awful, unflattering, or just unkind about one of them? Everyone that makes up any of these generations has far more in common than not. The only difference is when you were born.
Does that make any sense at all as to why it is used to divide people? Every generation has people who are with the times, and who are throwbacks to another time. Every one of them has good and bad people, and progressive and conservative thinkers. Why divide us along these utterly made-up lines at all?
Control. Ever notice how each generation belittles the next or the previous? Ever discuss how one generation ruins things for the next or the prior, and so on? All of it is completely, totally, and utterly made-up. The only thing it does is empower some while purposefully disempowering many others.
When they divide us, they do so to disempower us. That is the only reason to create, discuss, and grouse about divisions among us.
Division can be insidious
Look at the awful laws recently proposed or passed in Georgia and Ohio. Let’s call them what they are — control over women and their autonomy. It DOES NOT MATTER if you are pro-choice or pro-life, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has the right to dictate anyone else’s life. No laws that tell a person they have to do something with THEIR body are just, nor fair.
The divide between the sexes (I am not getting into gender here) is constantly used to disempower. Women, in particular, get the brunt of this. You don’t see laws being made telling men they have to get vasectomies or else they can be arrested for accidentally impregnating a woman. Men don’t get paid 2/3 what women do.
Deepening this divide disempowers some while empowering a very select few. This comes from a mentality of lack and scarcity, where there is not enough of ‘x’ to go around, so it has to be hoarded, guarded, and kept to the select few.
Yes, this has been an ongoing issue since humans formed communities. The superficial divisions led to the artificial, but all of it serves the same purpose. Empower this group while disempowering that group, because there is not enough for everyone.
Except this is not true. Most of what people fear there is not enough of can be substituted for something else if it does run out. Or it simply never will. Whatever the case, most of the lack and scarcity used to empower one aspect of a given divide is a lie.
Kindness and empathy empowers everyone
Much of what the divided groups present to one another is rudeness, anger, aggression, and other negativity towards one another. Often this expands out from one group versus another to one group against EVERYONE ELSE.
Our society is constantly bombarding us with divisions. Men/women, black/white, short/tall, Muslim/Christian, Gen X/Millennial, Fat/Thin, Republican/Democrat, Gay/Straight, and on and on and on. Place yourself where you belong, and then stand up against everyone else.
This empowers nobody. The truth of this is that it disempowers, because in doing that a certain, particularly small group believes they can expand their own power. Power that is, for the most part, as artificial as most of the preceding divides.
When you and I strive to be kinder to each other, and more empathetic towards the perceived differences we have, we empower ourselves. Further, kindness and empathy goes ahead and empowers others, too.
Rather than play into these divisions and group ourselves together in this way, you and I can come together, and strive to empower everyone for the greater good.
When you become aware of how insidious and utterly made-up these divides are, you can also see that fixing them and bringing them back together is not an easy task.
You cannot fix anyone who does not desire to be fixed. If someone changes, it’s because they want to change. There is no forcing change, despite a history of numerous attempts to do just that.
However, you can help make more people aware of this. How? By becoming mindful and aware of it yourself.
Words matter. What you think and what you say has an impact. The next time you think or say something like “Millennials ruin everything” or “men are awful” or “they are different and do not belong,” consider what you are voicing. Consciousness creates reality. If you want to further the divide, this is how you do it.
When you are mindful of what you are thinking and feeling, you gain awareness of not only your ideas and emotions but the bigger picture, too. You may not be able to change how anyone else acts or thinks, but you CAN change yourself, and be better.
Be aware of what you are thinking and feeling, and from there what you are saying and doing. Are you empowering or disempowering? Helping or harming? When you are mindful of this, you can choose whether you desire to expand or bridge a given divide.
Changing this is within your power. It begins with you and me. When we recognize the artificial and superficial divisions in our society, we can do our part to deny them. It may take time and effort, but I know I prefer seeing people coming together rather than being torn apart.
We are all worthy and deserving of this. We need to stop letting them divide us.