How honest are you while answering every “How are you” people casually throw at you in the name of conversation starter? Do you run out of words while introducing yourself to others? Our answers change depending on the people who are asking, and the kind of situations we are facing. Does not matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, expressing oneself is never an easy task, but thanks to social media we are getting better at the task.
Your understanding and expressions about yourself and the world you live in, come out of “what you think you are”, “what you recognize yourself with”, and “what and who fits into your world” based on the conditionings you have got since your birth.
It is considered normal to include your gender, caste, religion, and country as adjectives while introducing yourself. There are even more like language, city-state you live in, status, degrees you have acquired, color of skin, skills you are good at, job title and what not. Even if you avoid mentioning them, people somehow manage to get these information based on the experiences and the perceptions they have made about the people belonging to the particular gender, class and race etc.
In my spiritual quest I happened to come across the below powerful quotes
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti
I felt enlightened reading this, and started encouraging myself to drop every other adjective the human race keeps on inventing every other day. But then you read thousands kinds of troubles and sufferings people have to go through for no fault of theirs.
While you are reading this, someone is being killed, raped or stopped from studying because she is a girl, someone is denied an entry at the religious place because of their caste/religion, someone got rejected from the job because of their class and color, someone is being laughed at because of the poor control over their second language, someone is not paid equally because they don’t belong to the dominant gender, someone is being questioned or grabbed on the road because they belong to a particular color, religion or country.
The root cause and evil of all this might be the comparisons you and I are conditioned to do at each forward step we think is in the direction of the betterment of self, family, caste, religion, country we belong to.
Does “All lives” really matter?
Believing in all lives matter is a great thing, we all should. But does your definition of all really include all? Take a paper and write down, “what does your all lives include”? Do you count animals in “all lives” or is it just human beings. Ever treated people from other genders and countries as your own. Do you really feel connected to all beings? If you don’t, sorry to say but you and I are not there yet, and we don’t deserve to say “All lives matter”.
Someone would not have to make a call for “Save a girl child” if you and I have seen child as a child, someone would not have to take a bullet on her head if you and I have opened our schools for all, someone would not have to post a “Me too” if you and I have listened to her in the first place, someone would not have to shout out for an “Equal pay” if you and I have considered their skills and talent irrespective of their genders, and the color of their skin. Someone would not have to paint streets and roads with “black lives matter” if you and I have looked beyond the color of the skin and have respected the people breathing beneath the skin. Someone would not try to be an expert at a second language if you and I have not made them feel ashamed.
You and I both can make this earth a better place by dropping all kinds of adjectives we think we are, but until we reach there we need to listen to what is happening in our backyards. Next time you say “All lives matter” make sure you have not failed to include that “someone” who is not you. If you are not ready, the world is not ready.