Who says you get to decide anything about me? Do you know me? If I do you no harm, live my life peacefully, who says you get to target me with your intolerance, insults, violence?
The question “What is wrong with people?” is wholly - WHOLLY - about those who attack others for no other reason than their own fear and loathing of difference and change, when each and every one of us is different. Goodness is one capacity we share, but that is being significantly and alarmingly eroded along with the treasures of wellbeing, such as trust and inclusion, by maddening, dangerous bigots at the tap of a keyboard or smart phone.
The inclination to prejudice without knowing is seeping into consciences like a disease, whether it is in terms of gender, ethnicity or orientation, or any other reason, and it is a darkening, terrifying reality in what should be an age of enlightenment and heart.
We so desperately need kindness, tolerance and wellbeing in an inclusive society, more now than ever, if we are to ride the storms of climate collapse, the onset of mass extinction, the shadow of pandemic, and, equally, the palpable strain of mental health fracturing under the impossible weight of noise and knowing. All these are undeniable truths it can be hard to live with. We are vulnerable.
With appalling ease, unfettered, shallow, hateful influence is emanating to fill the void some people feel, to infect the building unease, and it is a horrible evil.
Have we learned nothing from the past century? Have we? We have to call this out, talk about it, face it, stop it.
I despair. I can barely find the words to say how I feel about the rising prevalence of prejudice.
We as a race must come to terms with so much, rapidly – changes that will shake the foundations of our beliefs and securities – if we are to survive and prosper. But yet again horrible individuals and groups are feeding on fears, stoking distrust and hatreds. People are being assaulted on our streets because of beliefs, gender, orientation, race. It was always intolerably so, but we are seeing it more and more once again, a sickening early sign of dystopia. Intolerance is a seed watered by megalomaniacs who sow fear and lies in table-thumping sound-bites that offer hollow hope to answer the collective disquiet that something is wrong.
What is wrong is our failure to each other and to our planet. What is wrong is our unsustainable lifestyle. What is wrong is the distortion of words like value and worth. What is wrong is the perpetual human propensity to turn in on ourselves, to listen unquestioning to self-serving lunatics and unleash angst on somebody else, on people we do not know or understand. We have done it repeatedly through history, seeded by fanatics, and we cannot, must not, let it happen again.
Know someone before you judge them. Respect others in the hope you are respected equally.
I again give thanks to my family and friends and those among whom I live and work, and for whom this is a given.