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Subject: "Not wholly on point" This topic is locked.
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janey
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123120 posts
Thu Aug-17-00 06:02 AM

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3. "Not wholly on point"
In response to In response to 0


  

          

or maybe it is, although not as a historical matter. Just to judge from the posts on these boards, which confirms my own experience, don't you find that the first reaction that people have to anything that differs from them is fear and mistrust?

When we look at what we identify as "Self" and what we identify as "Other" -- or "Us" and "Them" -- we establish hierarchies of who we are willing to include in our circle. There's a small group of people that we think of as family, then maybe there's friends, and then there are Like Minded Individuals that we might include, and then there are these ever-widening circles in which we include ourselves: Chicagoans, Democrats, Americans, etc.

And we're willing to extend ourselves to the smaller circle, even to our own detriment (I'll give my sister money if she needs it, without asking for it back. Or I'll take a leave of absence from work so I can be with my mother while she's ill.). But I have to draw a line, right, because I can't take a leave of absence from work to nurse the homeless stranger down the street. So I have to classify him as "other" or else I won't have a way to distinguish between who I'm willing to extend myself to and who I'm not.

So there's some comfort in saying "Not like me" because it wraps us in a cocoon beyond which we don't have to reach. And that distinction -- Not Like Me -- then can take on a life of its own. I know that I'm not willing to help those who are Not Like Me, so I can guess that they're not willing to help me, so that makes them, if not my enemy, then at least competitive with me. And then I end up with these hierarchies of

Like Me = comfortable, supportive, good, right
Not Like Me = threatening, competitive, bad, wrong

So the more willing we are to see different as just different, and not wrong or bad, then the less willing we'll be to harm someone just because they are different. But as long as we have these distinctions, we have a method of feeling justified for everything from not helping to actually harming.

Did that make any sense?

Peace.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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Origin of Racism... [View all] , GirlChild, Thu Aug-17-00 03:54 AM
 
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: Origin of Racism...
Shellypooh
Aug 17th 2000
1
RE: Origin of Racism...
Aug 17th 2000
2
      mos Def
KoalaLove
Aug 17th 2000
8
           On top of that
KoalaLove
Aug 17th 2000
9
janey..
Aug 17th 2000
4
That is so sweet
Aug 17th 2000
5
RE: Not wholly on point
dysfunctmonk
Aug 18th 2000
13
      Interesting
Aug 20th 2000
16
I'm not sure, but
Wise_7
Aug 17th 2000
6
Ghandi resents that
KoalaLove
Aug 17th 2000
7
      Okay, let me clarify.
Wise_7
Aug 17th 2000
10
           Mos def
KoalaLove
Aug 18th 2000
11
                on top of that
KoalaLove
Aug 18th 2000
12
                     BOOM
Wise_7
Aug 19th 2000
14
I once read an article....
Aug 19th 2000
15
explorers...
AfricanHerbsman
Aug 21st 2000
17

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