When you think about yourself you probably identify with a few things. Maybe it is the country you are from or perhaps it is your religion or your skin color?
In fact, you probably see yourself as a whole bunch of different things jumbled together – New Yorker, Knicks fan, American, etc.
How you see yourself is important – it is, after all, the summation of your experiences, background, and culture. It is easy to see how we can quickly see ourselves as belonging to particular groups – whether black, white, Asian, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or whatever else you care to mention. But perhaps we are all guilty of not looking at the bigger picture often enough.
Some of the media and certain political figures don’t help either, as they seem to focus on what makes us different from other people. Rather than looking at our similarities, we are often told to look at our differences, but have you ever wondered why this is, and who it might benefit? Could it be that we are falling for a ‘divide-and-conquer mindset that has the people fearing each other, while someone else is busy making a profit from the hate?
More than ever before we live in a joined-up global world. If you are from Los Angeles but move to London, do you become a Londoner? Or will you always remain an Angeleno? Actually, you become a bit of both as you take in the life and culture of where you live.
While your sense of personal identity is important and something you can be proud of, why should this mean you should fear, mistrust, or look down on others?
Expand your focus beyond your street or your city. Look further than your country or skin color and you will start to see the similarities rather than the differences. Pretty much everyone wants and needs the same things, whether that is food, clothing and shelter or love, security, and companionship.
You are just another human – in fact scrub that! You are just another mammal living on this rock we call the earth as it travels at 67,000 miles per hour around the sun.
You are more than you think. Expand the picture and you will be able to look at our similarities, allowing you to then appreciate and learn from our differences.
Isn’t it time to stop the hate and see that we are all ‘global citizens?’