It’s your first day of school, you feel alone, scared and want to go home. You look around the playground on your first lunch break, taking in a sea of faces, colours and races. You inherently walk towards someone that looks like yourself. Some of a similar build, gender and most likely of the same race. This natural urge is a very common human behaviour. Its helped shape society as we know it today, creating the good looking bunch, the geeks, the rich, the poor etc.
You trust yourself, and when the environment is alien, you seek this trust and reassurance in others around you. Your brain quickly judges the credibility of individuals within the first 7 seconds of seeing them, so first impressions count. Everyone judges the book by its cover, never the blurb or the story. Anyone closely matching yourself is naturally given more “brownie points” as they have made similar life choices as yourself. Choices such as the same hairstyle, clothes, food etc that have helped create the individual you like. You don’t necessarily like them for their uniqueness, but the similarities they portray to you.
The above is partly why the fat kids always get picked last and the white middle class male will nearly always get the promotion. Things are slowly changing, but it will take more than just appointing the first ever black president or shouting about a few small social cohesion initiatives ran by local governments.
Why is loving yourself a problem?
This is a problem because it’s one of the main reasons we will probably never see world peace. Each generation is nurtured to think in a similar way, making chances of true cohesion less likely. Current attempts of mixing cultures and society are very false. It’s something that cannot happen overnight or be forced. E.g. Building social housing in affluent areas is the equivalent of forcing a really big screw into a small hole. It won’t work, but cause things to break, hence become weaker. We need to slowly drill the hole bigger, so there is enough space for the screw to fit in perfectly. There needs to be a shift in society’s thinking through education and communication before the world can attempt to peacefully live together. An understanding and respect for race, religion and culture is needed, one which is reiterated beyond primary education.
Don’t just love yourself, try someone new.
Hope is not lost. When people are forced into situations of experiencing the presence of someone different, the experience is surprisingly rewarding for both. It shouldn’t be surprising, but it is. Society’s predefined stereotypes skew our views of the world, allowing us to quickly judge in the time strapped life we’ve chosen. All it takes is a “hello” to realise the most important similarity of all, we’re all human.
Life Is Perception