Rejoice In Our Differences

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The problem is not race. The problem is ignorance and fear. Race, as it is commonly defined by western countries, is based on skin tone and a batch of arbitrary human physical traits that allow us to categorize human beings into distinct groups. On the face of it, this is not a problem. After all, we do the same for dogs and cats. There are a gazillion breeds of dogs, for example. And within each canine breed are diverse physical and behavioral characteristics: hair color, hair length, attentiveness and so on. We do not, unless we are completely off of our rockers, imagine that a black labrador is inferior to a brown one, or that a black stallion is inferior to a white horse. No, we do not have such thoughts because we are not afraid of black horses and therefore we can see the beauty of a black horse and appreciate its inherent worth.

Racism makes fools out of otherwise sensible human beings. It is like a drug that fries brain cells, rendering us incapable of seeing other human beings simply as variations — physically speaking — of the same race or species. What could be more obvious than the inherent quality of diversity in creation? The palette of birds that soar through the air above, the vast array of fishes in our oceans and lakes, the multiplicity of mammals walking the earth with us, the mind-boggling types of insects and the countless forms of microscopic life affirm the organic and essential reality of diversity in creation. It is not that we do not see this with our own eyes or understand this intellectually. We do. Everyone that has looked at a sprawling field arrayed by flowers of varying colors or has observed wildlife knows that variations of color, form, sound, texture, and energy enhances the experience of living. Can we imagine a world where everyone looks or speaks the same? Perhaps we could imagine such an odd reality, but surely such a world would be lacking in vitality and beauty.

So what do we do about racism? Do we pretend it does not exist? Do we study it? Do we just ignore it and hope that we never have to deal with it personally or that our children will not be disadvantaged by it? I suggest we do something that gets us out of our heads and puts us in touch with our hearts. Accept that racism is real — because it is — but go beyond just feeling bad about it or hoping it will someday go away. Racism will not go away anytime soon, sad to say. The head approach will take us down an intellectual path. We may, for example, see a violent march on TV and be tempted to speak out against racism privately or even publicly. We may feel a need to read a book about racism or to write about it (as I am doing here). These are all good things to do, but we can do more to help alleviate the sickness of racism.

If it is true that everything in existence is a form of energy, as science has all but proven, it is also true that our thoughts are energy. Thought energy is unbounded and transcends time and space. Racism is essentially a “thought disorder”, a mental disease if you would; therefore, on some level we can dissipate the energy of racism by cultivating within our hearts each and everyday a profound appreciation for the diversity within creation. Notice the differences in the natural environment as you go about your day. Feel in your heart a deep sense of appreciation for the diversity that is all around you. This diversity is not something to fear, but rather something to relish.

We are not all the same at a surface level. We think differently, speak differently and look differently. So let’s rejoice in our differences. Instead of being afraid of diversity and difference, let’s love it — not is some trendy way, but in a real way born of higher intelligence. Let’s celebrate the exquisite beauty of jet black skin, light brown skin, dark brown skin and pale skin — it is just skin for heavens sake! There is nothing to fear about it. Let us seek a deeper understanding of the human condition, which will help us to realize that all human beings, no matter how they may look or talk or walk or whatever, are essentially here on this planet through no power of their own trying to make the best of it.

The past is what it is — we must learn from it, reflect upon it from time to time, but we must not let the past determine our future. Many years ago doctors literally sawed off limbs during surgery with crude instruments while the patient struggled in excruciating pain strapped to a table. Are we to continue such practices today? Surely not. We have developed superior methods of surgery because we know better — ignorance has been replaced with understanding. Similarly, the slavery and colonization of the past that continues to shape sub-conscious and even conscious thinking today must be seen as misguided systems based in fear and ignorance. Our collective prayer must be that our today and tomorrow will be shaped by love and understanding.

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens

— Baha’u’llah

The original article can be found here.

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DESHON FOX
DESHON FOX
Deshon Fox is the author of The Middle Theory. He holds a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota and operates a successful engineering firm based in the Bahamas. He currently serves as Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of the Bahamas, a role he has had since 2009. He lives in the Bahamas with his wife and three young children.

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