Today when the whole of humanity is divided even in the face of a common enemy, what lofty ideals our ancient seers had. They conceived of a utopia where the whole humanity is bonded like a one family. This was long before a map of the whole world was available.
By virtue of my association with some wonderful organizations, I have got the opportunity to interact with a wide spectrum of people from the Indian and global diaspora. When you see a person as an individual without getting tainted by any preconceived notion based on the person’s background you can connect with anybody and the human values you share in common may be amazing.
Sometimes, persons in a particular group may show some similarities in some aspects like way of thinking, food habits, pronunciation, etc. However, it does not mean that every one of that group would confirm to those characteristics. The reality is that, two persons speaking the same language and living under the same roof can be diametrically opposite in many aspects. Similarly, two persons living in two different parts of the globe may show similarities in many aspects of their character, attitude and life.
Hope you have seen the Hollywood movie Avatar. When the hero says to the heroine, “I see you”, the heroine replies, “I see you too”. Like the movie itself, the dialogues may contain many layers of meaning. When they say to each other “I see you” that may mean, “I see you as you are, stripped of the psychological conditioning brought out by the society. I see you as a unique individual not to be judged based on your family, social, national, or planetary background”. By the way the hero and heroine of the movie come from different planets.
Stereotyping is very common in our society. Usually we are judged prima facie based on some elementary information about us on many occasions. Even though the person himself may not be exhibiting all the group characteristics of the group he is part of, it comes as a surprise to him that you do not behave in line with the group image he has formed in his mind.
The height of such prima facie judgment happened when I took up a temporary job in a private company after my discharge from Indian Air Force. There was another ex-serviceman who had joined that office one year back. At the age of 47, he was still a bachelor. There was this colleague who asked me the moment I was introduced as an ex-serviceman, “When are you going to get married?”
I replied, “I will come back to you after consulting my wife.”
Apart from economic reasons, social and political unrests arise due to societies and groups developing bias against one another. In its extreme, this group bias may manifest as racial discrimination, communal violence, terrorism, genocide and ethnic cleansing.
All inter-group conflicts and fights originating from prejudice will end the day you learn to see a person as he is or she is, without drawing premature conclusions based on his outward identities of family background, social status, religion, language or nationality.
Provided, the supreme leader of your cult allows it.