Life is too short to be hating “them”…

Life is too short to be hating “them”…
We all know “them”…those who don’t view the world like “us”. For some, “them” could be the: “right wing nut jobs”, or the “bleeding heart liberals”. The “Trump supporters”, “Bernie supporters”, or “Hillary supporters”. The “gun lovers” or the “gun haters”. The “believers” and the “non-believers”. The “remainers” and the “leavers” (Brexit). What makes “them” so scary is that they don’t view the world the same way as “us”. What if we weren’t afraid to try to understand “them”? What if we actually tried to get to know “them”? What if we were OK with allowing “them” to be “them”? What if we stopped trying to convince “them” to be “us”?

Neil deGrasse Tyson says “A label is an intellectually lazy way to assert you know more about a person than you actually do…” What if we stopped viewing “them” through the labels we give “them”? The problem isn’t that we’re all different, it’s that we’re not OK with the fact that we’re all different. We want “them” to think, believe, and act like “us” but we fail to realize that we are ALL “them” to someone else. I know that I am one of “them” to you on some topic or another. I hope you know that I don’t view any of you as “them”. To me, we’re just “us”! We may have different ideas, beliefs, fears, approaches to life, etc. but it’s the fact that we’re all different that makes us the same. We’re all unique. I may not agree with you and you may not agree with me but that’s OK! Thich Nhat Hanh says “the more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand.” The world doesn’t need us all to be the same (that will never happen). The world just needs us to understand each other and to love each other and to be OK with our differences. I don’t know how to fix the divisiveness, hatred, and intolerance I see in the world today, but I do know that I can do my part to try to understand “them” and to love “them”, because I am “them”.
Noah Rasheta
About the Author
Noah Rasheta is a Buddhist teacher, lay minister, and author, as well as the host of the podcast Secular Buddhism. He teaches mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy online and in workshops all around the world. He works with others to make the world a better place as he studies, embodies, and teaches the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy, integrating Buddhist teachings with modern science, humanism, and humor. He lives in Kamas, Utah, with his wife and three kids.