Friday, March 18, 2005

I Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

Online this A.M., I was in a political forum. Naturally, terroism, Islam, and all that is the Middle East are main topics of discussions. As were hate Bush posts, love Bush posts, and everything in between. I have my views about all this and prefer to keep them in the various forums and out of my blog. My blog is my place to remain calm, have fun, and generally relax with words. But something occurred to me as I was reading the heated exchanges from various sides on the numerous flash point issues. What occurred to me was a quote from long ago in my youth.

"I have met the enemy and he is us". This quote from the old "Pogo" comic strip is as relevant now as it was back in the day. We all assume that we have enemies. With everyone making this assumption, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. We are not happy unless we have someone to hate. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Republicans, Democrats, the list is endless. We hate based on skin color, sexual orientation, what school we went to, what team we like. Humans have this bizarre need to pigeonhole other people into categories of disdain and distrust. And then the pigeonholed folks hate back. We base our judgement of others on some self taught codes of ethics that may or may not be based on logical thinking. And right now, the logic in everyone's hate seems a bit skewed.

By assuming the worst in people, conflict is a sure result. Carrying chips on our shoulders only invites others to try and knock it off. If we humans could just evolve one step further, I think 90% of all the hate and discontent would go away. I am not talking love my neighbor crap. But not hating my neighbor would certainly make life easier for both of us.

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