Are you polarized?
I believe the primary cause of war and hatred is the polarization between humans regarding adopted, or taught ideals, resulting in an immovable belief system. Whether you are black or white, Christian or Muslim, male or female, Democratic or Republican - the distinctions we adamantly stick to prevent us from seeing the other side of a topic. The extremity of polarization is punishment of the opposition to the extent of death. Whereas, the path to ending polarization is to make a conscience choice to listen and love others without judgment, without the desire to prove anyone wrong, or justify yourself as right. We can simply choose not to participate in the argument, but instead we can gain knowledge from our unique differences. We must not choose indifference though, because indifference is the polar opposite of love, peace and joy.
There is no necessity in proving that your or my perspective is correct or the right way, and we must ask ourselves what our "proving" behavior achieves for us, other than disconnection and polarity. There is no reward or prize for being right when making someone you care about the loser. A common justification "I couldn't listen to their opinion any more so I had to say something", is a choice to gage and stop listening. Instead, we can choose to listen and learn vs... Personalizing another person's point-of-view and defending our beliefs. When we argue for our own perspective in any situation, with the intention of disproving someone or making them wrong, we are participating in polarization. Before you engage, please ask yourself what the positive outcome might be with this behavior?
I dream of a world where we have no filters and choose to only look at other human beings with fascination and interest, whether gay or straight, Hispanic or Anglo, Russian or American. All humans are born without prejudice and polarization - this is a learned trait. I often look at this concept from the perspective of a blind person who has no sense of race or color by sight. To them, it does not matter what color you or I may be. The same goes for people without hearing. It does not matter what my voice or accent sounds like to them. Now imagine a world where we remove all of our bias and filters in exchange for listening with genuine concern for the welfare of others and total respect for our differences.
To create a world of equality and peace, we must remove ourselves from the destructive game of polarization. Only when we see each other of equal value, can we can share in the amazement of or unique qualities and beliefs that make us diverse and beautiful human beings.
In my life, the constant destructive element I face is the media and news. We are constantly being told that the world is getting more horrific every day, but I can tell you that is not true from my own travels around this fantastic planet. Everywhere I go, people are good and they want to feel safe, and every person I meet wants to be recognized and loved for who they are, as they are. We are shown so many negative stories in the media, but you must remember that what they show us is nothing more than a boiled down summary of the worst parts of our collective experience. Humans as a whole are amazing and loving creatures. How we choose to see each other is the problem.
We can solve this global dilemma by stripping away our polarization and loving all people unconditionally. We can start right now!
How do you choose to participate in creating a peaceful world?