I found nothing wrong in anyone, until I discovered people being classified as tall, short, beautiful, ugly, thin, round, shapeless, curvy etc. Some attributes were further classified. Beauty, for instance, became classed into categories thus: pretty, beautiful and cute; handsome became the standardised word with which to describe a man’s beauty.
I remember reading an article of a young white girl calling a black girl her twin; she’d just met the girl at the café while their parents spoke. I read through the beautiful article wondering about a time in my life when I knew nothing of racial distinction. Having lived among boys in the early times of my life, I grew up a tomboy and as a result struggled to understand why I couldn’t dress like my brothers. Why I couldn’t just throw on something comfortable, have a nice hair cut without being asked why I chose not to ‘weave’ my hair or be seen as someone that might need counseling in the hair department.
The world defines standards we live by which we often do not bother to question.These standards subconsciously shape our mindsets, our decisions, our views and perception of things and other people. As we grow older, invisible lines – which breed preference, hatred and malice – creep into our lives. The media further creates a seal over our budding wrong understanding of people. Soon, we live with our earthly lenses on through which we further categorize people, wondering if they measure up to us, and what the prospects of being classified with these set of people could become in a future we do not see or cannot predict.
Can we, for a minute, take off our earthly glasses and see humans differently, with no hidden bias about color, tribe, gender or social rank brewing in our hearts? And just see people as humans? We should move past our notions and see people as they are.
PEOPLE. Not tall, or short, or black, or white, or brown.
Perhaps, when we begin to see people just as people, when we look beyond the skin and realize we all have the same color of blood running through our veins, irrespective of tribe or social status, then we will be able to empathize more as our hearts soften to our kinds seeing we call ourselves mankind.
We do not live to hurt one another – either with our words or actions, but to ensure the person sitting or living beside us is as safe as we would love ourselves to be. This is called looking after one another.
Maybe, then, we may be moved to help others in need and love irrespective of the knowledge we have of another’s roots. Perhaps the veil that covers our hurts and fears will be peeled off layer after layer and we will come to embrace one another in our uniqueness and diversity. We will not shy away from others because we’ve classified them, but we will run to them because we see hearts willing to receive and give love.
I believe that the moment we come to embrace the beauty in diversity, that moment we’ll come to discover a life that defies the world’s standards, a life that thrives beyond classification.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime