Here we are in the twenty-first century, third millenium, still dividing ourselves into pieces and parts. We identify with this religion or that, this political party or the opposition, liberal or conservative or somewhere between, “our” sports team, “our” alma mater. We note color, size, shape, age, gender, and gender oreintation. We use each alliance as a means to further separate from each other. Covid-19 even sparked opposing opinions on what it is and what to do about it.
Whether you realize it or not, Covid is a game-changer.
Why? Because every religion, political party, and organized group was affected. No “type” of human is exempt. All humans, no matter their affiliations and convictions, are in this together. Some folks have not come to this conclusion as demonstrated by a surge in racially induced criminal acts.
I’ve seen and heard the phrase “human race” used many times in recent weeks.
“It’s not but one race. The human race,” said Mobile City Alabama Councilman Fred Richardson. The councilman says now is the time to make a change, starting with the questions asked on city forms. “It is time to remove race from all of our forms and list our ethnicity, where our ancestors came from. It’s time to drop color off the form. It adds nothing to it. It is valueless except for you to identify who to mistreat,” Richardson stated on June 9th, 2020 (reported by NBC news correspondant Jaysha Patel). I agree.
As soon as I see or hear the word “race” I wonder why it ever got associated with skin colors of human beings. Some (1500s) used the word to divide men and women into two species. Another former use of the word makes more sense - to refer to species of plants and animals, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Clearly plants are varied in species as are animals. Daisies do not function as dogs do. Squash plants and irises do not behave as horses and mice do. Squash plants and irises, though they are plants, bear different kinds of fruit and support different kinds of life. Horses and mice, though animals, have different behaviors and ways of being in the world.
Humans on the other hand, aside from color, are the same in ways that should never isolate us.
All humans want the same things; to live out their lives with relative happiness, comfort, health, and peace. All humans experience joy and sadness, clarity and confusion, patience and anxiety. Most humans have the ability to fall in love, raise young, and do creative work in some capacity. On the inside and the outside, the only thing different is color.
Color is not an issue for humans when considering birds, pets, cars, clothing, and home décor. It is considered pleasing to have rainbows of varying color on a plate or in a vase. I remember the coveted box of 68 crayons and now we have 120 and 152 to choose from! We love heirloom tomatoes, not only for the flavor, but the color variation. In the majority of human thought processes, color is something to celebrate rather than to use against those born with contrasting skin pigmentation.
Minus the color association, the word “race” denotes an immediate division between people, one potentially better than another.
- a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course.
- compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective.
When you think of it that way, the word “race” as used to divide us into color groups, implies that humans are in competition with each other. So far the application of that word fuels competitiveness for the very things all humans need and want for quality of life. The word itself creates an inhospitable atmosphere in which fear of someone else having more than we do governs societal choices and feeds an unbalanced society of domination where unity can never be achieved. The word “race” is not conducive to cooperation and current usage endangers innocent lives. It stunts our ability to have any kind of healthy relationships between people of different skin pigmentations.
Everyone deserves a good, healthy, and safe life.
We can move in that direction by putting “race” back in its proper place with no connection to what and who people are. I personally feel that competition of any kind between people is damaging to all involved. https://www.alfiekohn.org/article/case-competition/ The only positive competition is that which one enters into with oneself; to be a better person, to heal wounds that keep you down, to learn how to stop self-sabotage, to understand that going after your dreams and failing is better than never trying in the first place.
So where do we go from here?
We start by referring to the collective of humans as something more supportive and indicative of who ALL of us really are; flesh and blood people, mortals, Homo sapiens, Human species, community.
We are Humanity
1. the human race; human beings collectively. the fact or condition of being human; human nature.
2. humaneness; benevolence, the human species
We are Humankind
noun: human beings considered collectively
We are souls on a journey.
We are beings with indefatigable spirits.
We are One.
Heart Seeds© 2020 by Robin Reichert
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