Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Human Rainbow

The human rainbow; that glorious world of the diversity of the human race. I'm talking about more than just skin color here--religion, culture, style, all of it. The many different ways in which we express ourselves, keep our faith (or lack of, in the case of atheists), celebrate important occasions, all of it. It's truly a wonderful thing to behold.

Most of the time. It becomes ugly when one group seeks to inflict misery on another group simply because they are different.

I don't understand why some groups feel threatened by another group's differences. Let's look at skin color, for instance. Being a particular shade isn't inherently better or worse than being some other shade. And, as you can see in the picture below, we come in varying shades of "tan," for lack of a better word, ranging from a beautiful ebony-black to a pale white.


That picture is beautiful. In it, we can literally see the human rainbow, and all the gorgeous shades that comprise it.

Hating someone simply because their shade of tan is different than yours is, well, idiotic. That's like hating a cat because it has white fur with gray patches instead of orange patches. The different colored fur does not indicate one of the cats is better than the other. It is just different, and they are both beautiful.

Same with people. But skin tone isn't the only thing some people get in a tizzy of hate over.

Religion is another biggie, and it's equally as absurd a thing to hate an entire population for as skin color. Yes, there are religious extremists who do horrible things. NO, they are NOT indicative of the entirety of the population that follows that religion. No one religion is better than another--all have their strengths, their faults, and their nutjobs. ALL of them. Saying all Christians are X, and all Muslims are Y, and all Hindus are Z is evidence of very limited, very basic, and very wrong thinking.

Let's take Christianity, for example. There are so many variations of the religion that there's no way you can actually lump all of the people that follow them into one gigantic whole. We have the Westboro Baptist Church, whom most other Christians decry as not being "true" Christians (whatever that means), to much more moderate and accepting branches. But they're all Christians.

Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Paganism, to name just a few other religions (there's loads more out there) are just as varied and different within their umbrella designation. There are, believe it or not, extreme Buddhists. There are fundamentalist Pagans (how that even happened, I don't know, because Paganism IS so very diverse, but whatever). You can't judge the followers of these religions based on the actions of a few, because those few do not represent the whole. 

But as a whole, these religions are beautiful. Even atheism is beautiful, because the atheists' lack of belief provides a great counter-balance to the influence of religion in our society. Atheism reminds us that the laws and the world aren't all about what your particular religion believes--it's about everyone

I don't know what's so threatening about your neighbor being a Muslim when you're a Pagan. I don't know why we can't accept that someone having different beliefs doesn't make them wrong, it just makes them different. If we can accept that we all have varying ways to express ourselves--through style, clothing, house decor, etc., then why can't we accept religious differences the same way? My spirituality is not your spirituality. The way I express my spirituality is different from how you express yours, and that's ok. We're neither of us right or wrong--what applies to me does not necessarily apply to you. We simply are who we are.

Which leads me to the debate about gay marriage and related issues. Gays and lesbians, queers and transgendereds, are simply being who they are. They are not threatening anyone; their existence doesn't somehow invalidate your own existence. They love who they love, they live how they live, and that's ok. Hating them for being their authentic selves makes no sense. They aren't hurting you and they aren't bringing about the apocalypse (it's amazing the powers some fundamentalists believe the LGBQT community possess. You're apparently superheroes, all of you). They simply are, and they add to the beauty of the human rainbow.

And that's what this all boils down to--diversity. It is a most fantastic thing, when you sit down and really think about it. The infinite variety of ways the human race expresses itself, invents itself, and is their authentic selves is truly amazing. We are on a (relatively) small ball of rock on the outermost arm of our galaxy, around a not-so-unusual sun, suspended in the vast void of space, and we are alive.

We are alive and we thrive and we grow. We learn and we advance. Yes, we have our flaws, but the fact we even exist is almost miraculous. And the fact that we exist in such a beautiful spectrum of culture, color, religion, language, and love is even more amazing.

So stop the hate. In the grand scheme of things, we humans, collectively, are a torch in the night. We should be aiming to light the way, not burning down all that makes us so unique.

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