We live in a world that has become defined by US and THEM.
This concept has become ingrained in the very fabric of our societies. We have all been taught to focus on what makes us different, instead of what can bring us together. It is so much in human action these days that we do it without even thinking about it. It has become part of our very nature. Lock our doors to protect us from THEM. School rivalries. Sports. Politics. Religion. Location. The concept is everywhere. My question is why? Why do we choose to focus on the inconsequentials when we all have at least one very profound thing in common. We are all HUMAN.
Thanks to both my nomadic lifestyle, and the wonders of the internet and social networking, I know people from all over the world. So I decided to ask a simple question with maybe a not so simple answer. These are people of all ages. Men and woman. People from many different nationalities. People with different political beliefs, from many different religions, with many different life experiences. In short I asked THEM. The question … What does friendship mean to you?
I got answers from a fair variety of people. Some chose to answer in their own words. Some used quotes that they agreed with. They were all good answers in my mind. Various words and phrases were used … Loyalty. Having my back. Always there. There even when I am down. Time does not matter … to name a few of the more common ones. But the thing that struck me the most about these answers, these answers from very different people with very different backgrounds, was that they ALL SAID THE SAME THING. The words may have been different, but the essence was the same.
I don’t need to tell anyone what the answer is, because we all already know. And we all really agree. So again I ask WHY? Why do we let others convince us that THEY are somehow different because THEY do not think exactly the same as US. And why does it matter anyway? One of the most common themes was that friends were friends even when they disagreed with us. Nowhere in any of the answers did anyone mention politics. No one said anything about religion, or the country they are from, or the color of their skin. Nowhere did it say anything about agreeing all the time or only when we are happy. Friendship is about one human relating to another in love. That is its simplest definition. And from what I have seen, just about everyone agrees.
What does this tell us? That our grievances with other people are by choice. Because we choose to listen to others who have agendas that are more important to them than an end to strife. Because we choose to accept other’s misinformation as truth without finding out for ourselves. Because we choose NOT to think for ourselves. Ultimately PEACE is about playing well with others. About removing the concept of US and THEM, and remembering that we are WE.
Making friends is easy. Just accept people for who they are. It’s really up to us. It is really that simple.