I am Human

“I am not distinctly different from any other human.  My beliefs are no more or less valid than any other person’s.  My hair, eye, and skin color are random and meaningless.  I am not white or black, I am not strait or gay, I am not christian or atheist.  I am human.”

We all bleed Red.I was hit right between the eyes by a paradox this morning.  I’m still reeling, which is why I’m writing.  For well over a century we (i.e. rational, sensible people) have been exerting tremendous effort to create equality among all individuals.  We have been working toward the elimination of discrimination based on race, religion, and gender (to mention only a few of our differences).

Part of our strategy to overcome discrimination has been to celebrate our variety with events intended to accentuate to our differences.  What?  Did I just say that? Let me re-phrase it so it makes sense.  We are trying to end discrimination by drawing distinctions.  Nope.  There is  definitely a hole in that logic.  It’s like trying to extinguish a house fire with a propane torch.  We cannot end discrimination if we continue to subscribe the notion of “us and them”.  Ending homophobia, racism, and other forms of discrimination cannot be achieved by celebrating our differences; we need to celebrate our sameness.

Therein lies the paradox:  Celebrating our cultural differences proliferates the sense that we are not the all the same; which by extension leads us to believe that we are different from on another; i.e. not equal.

As long as we continue to classify ourselves based on the color of our own skin or the god we worship (or don’t), discrimination will continue. Ending discrimination must start with changing how we view ourselves.  So let me begin by proudly declaring, “I am not distinctly different from any other human.  My beliefs are no more or less valid than any other person’s.  My hair, eye, and skin color are random and meaningless.  I am not white or black, I am not strait or gay, I am not christian or atheist.  I am human.”