We are more alike than we remember. 

 

We are being led to believe that our differences are more amplified than they really are. A very intelligent campaign has been created to divide us because the people cannot be controlled when we work together. 

 

What’s sneaky about this campaign is it is designed in such a way to make you think that you are finding your “tribe.” You feel alone so well meaning social justice movements are generated and you find “your people.” Those that think like you, act like you, look like you. Finding your tribe gives you comfort because now you are understood. Now you’re finally not alone. Now, you have something to fight for….and someone to fight with. 

 

But what if this was all an illusion? What if these hard lines drawn in the sand of “you are this….and I am that”….is all just puppetry? What if we are not black and white but 10,000 shades of grey? 

 

You are being led to believe that there is the right way, and the wrong way 

That you can either believe this….or that

That if you want this…..then you can never have that

And this hard line….is just the way it is

 

In a talk from Ram Dass I was reminded that spiritual practices help us find neutrality and commonality. When we let go of division and seek out neutrality we see that we are interconnected. We are connected to each other, to the land, to spirit. There is no separation. After we fully embrace this interconnectedness then we can celebrate our differences as an expression of creation….and not division. 

 

When the people see that they are one, there is no more need for war amongst themselves. THIS is a very dangerous thing for those that want to control a population. It is from the playbook of history that first you divide….then you conquer. Busy the people with fights amongst themselves and they will never see the bigger picture. 

 

The tool that is used to divide is labels

 

White                          Atheist                               Introvert               Muslim

Black                          Uneducated                       Extrovert              Goth

Redneck                     Discredited                        Extremist              Bad

Liberatarian                Lazy                                   Feminist              Them

Conservative              Unmotivated                      Misogynist           Those People

Liberal                        Conspiracy Theorist           Sexist

Red                            Gay                                    Immigrant

Blue                            Bi-sexual                            Straight

Antivax                       Non-binary                         Womanizer

Provax                       Racist                                  Selfish

Pro-life                       Homophobe                       Terrorist

Pro-choice                 Poor                                    Fanatic

Christian                    Rich                                     Lunatic

Hindu                         Drug-addict                          Good

                                                  

Labels are divisive and intellectually lazy. Labels are meant for jars and not people. Labelling people intensifies divisive behaviour and cuts them off from their humanness. 

 

The interesting thing about the human brain is it is designed for speed and efficiency. Facts don’t matter to the brain as much as belief and emotional storytelling. We see this again and again where fact does not stand up to belief. Labels create that belief in us. When we hear something about someone, it’s quicker to form a belief around that label than it is to investigate the truth of someone and what they believe in. 

 

How quickly have you written someone off and not heard their story because someone told you they were (insert label here)? I guarantee many, many times.

 

It’s important to understand our humanness so we can counter these “efficient” tactics of the brain, and these tools of our oppressors. We understand that we are 10,000 shades of grey but do we understand that our neighbour is too? That every single human being deserves to be seen as a complex system of beliefs and behaviours? That they are never just one thing. A label. 

 

There is no hard line drawn in the sand. 

This is a lie.

We are all thinking, feeling, loving, kind, fallible, floundering, human beings with more things in common than not. 

 

Notice when a label has prevented you from compassion.

Notice when a label has prevented you from hearing someone’s story.

Notice when a label has prevented you from seeing someone as equally valuable.

 

Because that is the real truth. That we are all in this together. Removing the great divide means seeking neutrality first. To let go of labels in order to fix the division. To hear each other out. To seek out the truth at all costs. To remember that..

 

Together we stand, divided we fall. 

 

With grace and grit,

Karla Joy Treadway