Don’t focus on what is separating us but rather what unite us

At the moment, I am reading the third book of the Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series, called Oathbringer. I like his books, as they give me plenty to think about. For example, why we focus on what separates us from others, instead of finding similarities.

In stories, often we can easily say who is bad and who is good. However, the real world is seldomly black or white. But this only as a side notice. In the past and even now (in the forms of corporations), you see the urge to expand. Often it is accompanied by the strong believe that a certain belief-system is superior and will therefore make others happier. Those who don’t agree are fought or chastised. Maybe an example you can relate to is status. If you don’t have a nice car, or a nice house, or the newest devices or fancy clothing, you might be ostracized by certain groups.

This is already bad enough, but it might hint to a certain way we look at things. We see and focus on differences. They look differently, they speak differently, they have different hobbies, or world views. Why do we tend to focus more on what separates us than what unites us?

In the book, they play with that concept. The old gods fighting against each other, because everyone has his/her own belief of what is right. Kingdoms don’t talk to each other and don’t trust each other. Different races are valued differently. But, there are moments when the author brings them together. People in one military unit, a mix of different nationalities and races, come together and share their feelings in an honest moment, which brings them closer together, voices telling one of the characters to unite, and negative expectations being crushed by opening up.

We live in this world together. I think that no one really wants to fight. We see the differences and we are scared, uncertain, and confused. But we all share common dreams and hopes. We wish our families will be happy. Our kids will grow up free from suffering and pain. We seek and need connection, although we seem to be less and less able to voice and show this need. We want to be productive and be compensated for our work. Without the fear that it might not be enough. Having to keep wearing a mask is tiresome and we just want to be able to be ourselves and not be judged for it.

What if we start looking more for what connects us? It might make living on this planet already a little bit nicer =)

 

Have a wonderful day and take care!

Stephan

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