This is what I see when I look out at the world; dividing lines. You on your side, me on mine. Women and men, Christians and Muslims, black and white, gay and straight…everyone self-selecting their own categories (or accepting the ones given to them) of who they are and what they believe. Everyone specifically giving away their intrinsic identities because owning them—the care and feeding, the constant vigilance against erosion, the endless barrage of marketing to redefine—is just way too much of a burden to bear.
And I saw two young Syrian boys in an internet video this morning, on their knees in the dust and rubble, huddling against what they know is coming while a masked soldier recites Koranic script behind them…I saw two young boys executed for being on the wrong side of an imaginary line. Their bodies jerking and shuddering from the gunfire, in the dust and dirt as they fell across each other.
The wrong side of an imaginary line.
And I see “clever” graphics on Facebook about how all women are yadda, yadda, yadda and all men are blah, blah, blah and I giggle a little at the absurdity of categorizing 3.5 billion people (7 billion of us divided by 2) into the same bucket. Assigning the same motivations and reactions that the author thinks are representative of the world’s male or female population when in fact is merely a representation of the author only.
And I think to myself how we came to be here…and why we accept such illogical fantasy as a way of living our lives; constantly pitting one side against the other over imaginary slights and completely fabricated differences. Constantly creating aggressive tension between this side and that side because that results in…what? Markets and commerce? Domination and submission? Have’s and have not’s?
And with an image of teenage boys riddled by bullets still acute in my mind, I realized that we don’t create those lines because we want to, or have to, or are being forced by evolution…we create those lines because that’s what happens when we distrust, fear and ultimately hate ourselves…when we cannot find it in our own souls to accept and forgive ourselves for being the frail and fallible humans that we are…that is all we will ever be. When we willfully give away our identities because owning them is simply too inconvenient.
Those lines are created as a consequence, not as a conscious choice.
And I wonder aloud here what we can do to reverse this, to ameliorate the condition we’ve come to regard as “living” so that those dividing lines lose their power, lose their ability to kill, to maim and destroy…
…and the only answer I have is to love myself…
…so I can love you.
Believe. Go. Do.