Now, more than ever, it's senseless to divide and hate. We need to see what ties us together, instead of what sets us apart. Watch this X
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Are you good, or are you bad?
Most of us are a combination of the two, and where each version of us emerges is highly dependent upon who we’re interacting with.
Whether or not we’re nice to someone, is whether or not our minds is has defined the person to be the ‘same as us’, or ‘different from us’. Even our language is used to identity our sense of belonging and separation.
Mark Pagel is an evolutionary biologist and in an interview in the podcast Ted Radio Hour he said that “as soon as someone opens their mouth and we hear their accent, we start to place them. And what we’re subconsciously doing is saying, are they one of us?”
He said that because of our tribal background, human beings, until today, can be “remarkably and uniquely cooperative among our own tribal groups, like holding doors for people, giving up seats on trains, give to charities and so on.”
But this cooperation, throughout our history, has been largely confined to members of our tribe.
Professor Pagel said, “as soon as we move outside the tribe, it's as if a lot of our ethical and moral stances evaporate and we can treat people outside of our tribe as kind of subhuman.”
It is true that it’s much easier to treat other people in a way that we would not treat our family and friends, because in our head, it’s okay because they’re different - they’re not one of us.
It’s easier to behave like the worst version of ourselves, to treat someone as a subhuman, when we see them as different. But when we focus on how similar people are, instead of how different, it becomes uncomfortable to treat people badly.
We can be extremely mad at someone, but the moment our mind sees them as a person, and not merely the enemy - but a walking, talking, breathing person, our perspective shifts.
We may still be upset with them, the situation hasn’t changed, but our reaction towards the person will be different.
We all have a choice as to how we see the world, and how we view people of different ethnicity religion, culture, race, languages, accents.
Choose to see what ties us together, our humanity, instead of what sets us apart, and it really helps us be less judgemental, less easily upset, and it’s so much easier to be happy, always.