It’s hard to believe that a mire 150 years ago, humans still had the right to own other humans. Our country is covered with the stain that for nearly 250 years we considered other human beings’ property. To be brought, sold, and breed like cattle or other animals. The thought disgusts me that in a society built on individual rights and freedom, that we’d consider anyone… “less than”.
We like to think of ourselves as enlightened, that we have evolved beyond those thoughts. Yet even today I can walk the streets of this or any town and find individuals that consider “others” to be less than. Rather it’s through color, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or wealth status; we all are guilty. My main prejudice is with ignorance and close mindedness. You know it when you see it, the bigotry, the righteous indignation. It makes me sick.
I suppose we should all look at our own hearts and ask, “Do I have the right to feel this way”? The Christian Bible says to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). Similarly, in Buddhist teachings it gives the four elements of love as kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness.
For me to lay here and think I am better than anyone else is absurd. To think I hold some moral authority over anyone defeats the purpose of love. As enlightened as our forefathers may have been, they knew in this instance they were wrong. To see all humankind as equal is the first step in creating true “peace on Earth”. Till then we’ll just continue to dance around the edges of what we could be.