I’ve been thinking a lot about identities lately.
Each identity tells its own story.
For those who watch/ listen to/ read the news each of the following words, garbled up, might mean something:
Shooters Far right Right wing Anti-gun activists Bleeding hearts Liberal Democrat Republican Muslim Shia Sunni Hindu Catholic Buddhist Christian Protestant Syrians Jews Migrants Left wing Believers Atheists Bhakts Sickular Mullahs Minorities Blacks Niggers Whites Mexicans Politicians Actors Musicians Artists Authors Prostitutes Doctors Astronauts Communists Capitalists Transexuals Mainstream Gays Lesbian Diversity Chinese Indian American Malaysian Russian Japanese Malay Refugees Migrants Locals Foreigners Indigenous Tribals Urban dwellers Europeans Arabs Racists Jews Supremacists Fundamentalists Terrorists Experts Farmers Drivers Dreamers Children
Such an abundance of terms. I could go on, so could we all.
Such a variety of ways to describe this species, that science recognizes with the one term: Homo Sapiens.
Such insignificance in the history of this planet. If the entire history of the planet is mapped to twenty four hours in time, humans occupy less than the last two minutes.
Such utter insignificance in this universe, less than a microscopic dot in a minuscule corner of one of the billions of galaxies.
And yet we’re at each others’ throats, we murder, we rape, we shoot, we kill, we wipe out entire generations of humans, animals, plants. We can’t give life back, but we don’t hesitate for a minute before we take it. We live as if we’ll never die, as if this planet can bear our depredations.
I say We, because I believe that all of us, including me, are culpable. In living our lives without an awareness of what we’re part of, of our place in the scheme of things, we’re culpable.
Some of us believe that the destruction and mayhem afoot on this planet is pretty ho-hum, it happened in each age, we survived dark ages and holocaust in every generation, and like indestructible cockroaches, we shall survive this one.
But in all the other ages, the world was spread out– civilizations rose and fell mostly in isolation, affecting each other in historical ripples. Can’t deny that it is different this time. Globalize and Glocalize are words now. Human population is set to exceed sustainable levels soon.
In all of it, I see one hope: the fact that humans as a species are capable of as much beauty as we can create ugliness, as much compassion as cruelty, as many dreams as nightmares.
Do you see hope for Humanity? For our planet? What name do you give yourself– of your country, your tribe, your religion, your profession, your relationships? What do you teach your children about who they are: who they should love and who or what they should hate? How do you define good and bad to them?
And perhaps, most importantly…
How do you define Yourself?