Posted On June 10, 2014 By In Buzzworthy, The Scene

What We Are vs. Who We Are

 
 

We have a sensitivity problem in America, and I’m done with it. I don’t care if you are black, white, yellow, or brown. I don’t care if you celebrate Jesus, Allah, God 1, God 2, God 3, or no God at all. If you go the bathroom in the men’s room or the ladies room, or have a hard time figuring out which one you should use – frankly, I don’t give a damn.

And don’t chastise me for it. The reason I don’t give a damn is that no matter what you look like, what you believe in, who you love, what you wear, is because of this – no matter what you are, when we first meet, we meet at ground zero, on a level field of judgement. Don’t get me wrong – I can stereotype like the best of them, and I’ll get to that.

I recognize the difference between what somebody is and who somebody is.

This is a difference that needs to be appreciated. A black person is black, that is what they are. A gay person is gay, that is what they are. But that black person may be charming, warm, well-educated, a family person. They may also be rude, crude, or altogether unpleasant. The color their skin or sexual preference does not dictate the caliber of their person.

It is not who they are.

Labels are easy to put on different people. Everyone does it at some point or another and it is probably a fine thing to do. Developing stereotypes is a human condition and largely why we are still a surviving species. We tend not to play with lions because lions are typically dangerous, we tend not to touch glowing red metal because glowing red metal is typically hot. We can not avoid forming stereotypes in our mind.

But in the developed mentality we enjoy today, we reserve the ability to overcome what somebody is, and the stereotype that accompanies it, to learn about who they are. That is important. Before we jump to conclusions about one another, let’s take the time to learn about each other.

Let’s forget about what we are.

Let’s stop basing our decisions on outward appearance, or things we can’t control. Let’s let go of racism and sexism and gender classes and sexual profiling. Let’s live our lives as who we are and not what we are, because what we are doesn’t really matter after all.

Let’s get rid of the sensitivities that surround what we are.

Let’s treat each other on the basis of who we are.

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John O'Neill is a writer for Writtalin. He keeps his nose in the news. He is a big fan of pretty sunset pictures and crisp words. Don't tell him, show him. Firm believer in dinner and drinks. Journalist, athlete. You can email John at: johno@writtalin.com

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