I've been in Florida for the past week, although it is very likely that I will no longer be in Florida by the time you read this. It has been a great week with four generations of family and all the fun and complications that such a trip entails.
There was one day however, when nerves were perhaps a little on edge, where my head and my heart were tested, both by goings on in my immediate vicinity, and in the world at large. Even in a resort bubble, the complexity of human interactions can catch us unawares.
My thoughts were drawn to the way we self-identify and segregate ourselves into groups, groups which create distinctions which are in and of themselves a kind of discrimination based on nothing but a happenstance of birth. It doesn't matter what kind of group it is: nationality, race, skin color, hair color, eye color, religion, education, sexual orientation, handedness, Myers-Briggs type, whatever. When we identify ourselves by one small aspect of who we are, we automatically eliminate others and say, to some extent, that in uniting ourselves by this characteristic over another, we are superior to those who are different.
But in truth, we all exist on a spectrum of complexity. Nothing is as clear-cut as we'd like to pretend.
Below is an excerpt from my journal entry that day:
"until we can simply see ourselves as all brothers and sisters, equal in our humanity, and then simply as individuals, each unique and complex and nuanced and not so easily pigeonholed, until then we can never escape prejudice and we can never achieve peace".