A Single Seed: Us vs. Them

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These past couple years in American/world history have really accentuated the polarization between different groups based on factors we all are aware of. Race, religion, political stance, and sexual orientation have people from all walks of life digging their heels into the ground to defend what they believe in. Expression of beliefs is exercising your freedom of speech, and I'm not here to suggest any one group or ideology is better than another. But, with separation and conflict seemingly on the rise on a macro scale, there's something worth remembering that I hope can tie us back together:

It is only us, there is no them.

It's been engrained into us to fight for our tribes and defend our beliefs. This goes back thousands of years, and our brains have been wired to unconsciously group ourselves with people who we believe are similar to us. But this is where the problem begins. Despite someone having a certain political affiliation or believing in a different deity than yourself, the thing that binds you two together is your humanity. Your emotions, abilities, consciousness, and potential. These things aren't limited to just one set of people. These are human traits. We all have them, no matter how we look or what we believe. It can be difficult to find common ground when stances are so opposite, but being reminded of the humanity inside every one of us can allow us to meet each other on a deeper level than a certain set of beliefs.

My ex-coworker and I were about as different as two people could be. Our religious affiliations, belief systems, ways of thinking, and daily lives were nearly completely opposite of each other. But despite our differences, he's now someone I consider one of my closest friends, and I wouldn't hesitate to call on him for whatever I needed if necessary, and I'm sure he feels the same. It taught me a lot about looking past the surface details of a person, and getting down the core of who we really are. I almost certainly would have never gotten to experience the bond that we now have had I simply disregarded him based on certain things he believes.

Humans are designed to group together. We thrive better in smaller tribes than in large quantities of people. But we need to remember, at the end of the day, that's all we are. People. There's only we. Not they.

"A Single Seed" is my attempt to get out one idea every day that I've learned or accumulated over the years, with the hope that it may stick in someone else's memory bank as well. The idea may be related to fitness, business, life, or philosophy, but I think you'll find that many can change domains if you wish them to. With each seed planted, a new life awaits.

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anger_during_a_protest_by_David_Shankbone

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