Everyone is up in arms about the latest African American to become a victim of police brutality - George Floyd. Violent protests are commencing in many of America’s major cities. Unfortunately, the toll of these protests might not be felt at the white house or by the police who were involved; instead, the toll will be taken on innocent members of the community who are losing their livelihoods, neighborhood stores where they buy necessities and some are even losing their life. The toll will also be felt among innocent officers who do not use the tactics depicted in Minneapolis. The toll will be felt across America as tensions among races escalate and while tensions between police and civilians continue to create an us versus them mentality. There is no winner in this environment.
It seems like this is about race, but it really isn’t. Racism is a symptom of a much greater and deeper rooted evil in our society. The hard truth is we don’t respect ourselves, we don’t respect each other, we don’t respect the animals and we don’t respect the planet. You cannot respect life and create violence at the same time. A society that respects all forms of life has no violence.
The problem is that we think there is a difference between a human and an animal, between a white man and a black man, between a man and a woman. And yes, on the surface, there are some key differences that we allow to become our focus. What we should be focusing on, where respect for all life lies is in our sameness. We all have a spirit inside of us and that spirit does not age. Ask anyone who is in their elder years and they will tell you that while their body feels old, their spirit still feels like a little kid. It’s a weird phenomenon, but it points to an eternal truth. We each came to this planet, but before we could “arrive” we had to be given an earthly body. I liken the differences of our bodies to the differences one might find driving down a street looking at homes. There are blue ones and green ones and red ones and white ones and yellow ones and even purple ones. Some of the houses are short and slender while others are compact and tall. Some are dirty and others are pristine. Some have protrusions while others have a smooth surface. While all of the houses on this street are different on the outside, they are all the same on the inside in that they provide shelter for people and some animals. The outside doesn’t really have anything to do with the inside.
We are the same. We all have an earthly body or as I like to call it a “carcass” because that is what it is - it’s a temporary home for the spirit that inhabits this body while on planet earth. It is nothing more. And just like the homes, there are brown bodies, black bodies, beige bodies, red bodies and white bodies. And each body has a spirit living inside of it while it is on this planet. It is the same with the animals too. All bodies are temporary homes for life on earth. The outside doesn’t mean anything - we just want it to and thus we begin to create divides that aren’t really there at all.
The only answer to prejudice in any form is to acknowledge that we really are all the same and thereby start respecting each other. No, you aren’t going to love everyone and there are going to be people who get on your nerves or who you just don’t like for one reason or another, but you can still respect the being inside them. The one you might know and spend time with long after this earthly body turns to dust. You don’t have to like someone to respect them.
This lack of respect keeps cycling through our planet, generation after generation. Slavery in all of its forms, genocide, the Holocaust, civil wars, gang violence, political upheaval, racism, religious wars, deadly road rage, mass shootings, etc… all of these horrific events boil down to a lack of respect for others you deem different from yourself. The awful truth is - it is a lie. There is no difference. We are all the same. To rip it out at the root we must bring respect back into society. If we don’t… we will bully, torture and murder until the earth blows up. What kind of world do you want? It really is up to you.