The world is divided
And we – you and me – are the ones dividing it.
It’s part of human nature.
We set up barriers, boundaries, divisions – these walls that separate and segregate.
Us vs them, black vs white, rich vs poor, in vs out, gay vs straight.
And we go to great lengths to build these walls. We kill. We bomb. We comment on Facebook. We stay silent.
But the more we do, the greater the gaps between us become. Until eventually they are monstrous crevasses into which we all fall.
What is the solution? I do not know. But my hunch is that it lies somewhere in the heart of love.
“In the end we will only conserve what we love, and we will only love what we understand.” – Baba Dioum, 1968.
We only really love what we understand.
And the only way to understand is to listen.
Because when we sit and listen to someone else’s story. When we feel their pain, when we put ourselves in their shoes – then suddenly it becomes very hard to hate.
And the gap starts to close.
And that person stops becoming a “them” – part of a group we can simply generalise away – and instead they become a person to us. A real human being with a family, with friends, with insecurities, hopes and ambitions…
And the fire of hate that burns on the oxygen of “other” is snuffed out.
There is simply nothing to give it energy anymore.
It is now we.
And we are in this together.
We are in this together.
So scale a wall today, break down a barrier, walk across the room, sit with someone who doesn’t look or think or live like you, and simply listen.