Lately, I have begun to notice more and more a tendency in the media, in businesses, and even the people around me to divide people in our communities into different groups. Where there was before just our co-workers, friends, or acquaintances, we are now seeing these people divided by others or even by themselves into different distinct groupings. It seems to matter more than ever if you are a man or a woman, gay or straight, white or a person of colour, etc. This alienation of our communities into separate tribes is immensely destructive of our common welfare. Instead of working together to promote the communal welfare of our families, we fight each other, demanding special rights for ourselves while being careless of the long-term consequences. This post will examine why this segregation of our communities is so wrong and offer suggestions as to what we can do to resolve it before it is too late.
Before we begin, I need to ask you one question. Does a person’s ancestry, phenotypic traits (race), or biological sex affect their value as a person? I want you to really consider this question for a moment. Is a woman more valuable than a man or vice versa? Does being a Royal make you a better person than being born as a commoner? Are white people better people than black people, or are redheads smarter than blondes? Does the job you do make you better or worse than anyone else?
The answer, of course, is no. As mentioned in Chapter 21 of The Code, the colour of your hair, eyes, or skin has absolutely no bearing on the type of person you are. Just as being born into the Royal family or that of a chip shop owner matters not at all to your value as a person. Your biological sex also, while it does impact much in life, has no bearing on your worth as an individual. Your profession, while differing in reward, skills, and attractiveness, is also meaningless in the calculation of individual value. Why then do we allow ourselves to be divided by these meaningless designators?
This is not to ignore the differences between people, sexes, or professions, but it is to deny that these differences add up to anything meaningful. You are undoubtedly different from me. We have different backgrounds, skills, families, histories, noses, skin tones, knowledge, etc. but so does everyone else. What gives us the ability to judge others as worse than ourselves? If you were a fish, would you not pity the sailor who was struggling against the cruel sea, while you swam secure in its depths just as the sailor pities the beached whale stranded on land?
We inevitably judge others against ourselves. But we are blind to what we do not know or have not experienced. When we judge ourselves as being superior in the areas of our strength, we assume that we have accounted for everything. Yet, like the fish, we have judged only what we know and ignored what we do not.
What if we took a humbler approach, and while recognising the differences in each other, accepted that they too were like us? Man or woman, black or white, doctor or labourer… if we recognise that we are all just people, could we not then work together for our mutual good? What if, instead of fighting each other for special treatment, we could agree to compete on a level field? What if, instead of trying to undo past injustice through doing injustice to others now, we demanded justice for all? As we suggest in The Code, the value of an individual is set by their ability and character, not by their ancestry, phenotypic traits (race), occupation, class, or biological sex. That would be a world worth fighting for. That would be a community that truly promoted the welfare of its members.
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