Politicians think they have the answer. In times of blatant economic turmoil, Americans, and therefore the world, seek the leader with a sophisticated plan that benefits them best. But I think it’s inappropriate to assume change will occur through a installing a few powerful people with an idea of peace in the government. If we want change, progression, and peace, let’s talk 6.5 billion people.
“Damn Middle Easterns, I hope they all die,” I heard a 3rd grade peer squeal. I was sure it had something to do with the recent 9/11 attack. That sentence reverberated in my head all day; I knew there was something wrong with it. Finally I spoke up at dinnertime, “A kid at school said all Middle Easterns should die. Why?” My parents replied, “Zach, some people just don’t treat others the way they want to be treated.” I later understood how much that child and family generalized an entire population. I knew I could never be so harsh.
Yes, I was implying that the Golden Rule, or a variation, can pull us out of the social and economic mess that we find ourselves. All 6 ½ billion of us have so much alike, why do we choose to magnify the tiny gaps between our alikeness? By choosing to ignore the differences, life is easier for me and there is less friction between those that I work with.
An Earth-sized problem isn’t going to be eliminated by “nuking” it. Consider sitting across the table from an opponent and treating them respectfully simply because they are human. When I take a step back from the over-analyzed political solutions proposed, I realize how much of a temporary antidote they are. Fundamental change is necessary: the ability to maturely negotiate and put precedent disputes aside.
This notion of universal acceptance would trickle down from our politicians to our working class. Feelings of hostility between nations of people diminish drastically. War hawks, think logically; the less money spent on war, the more opportunity for tax reductions. I often think about how much different our lives would be if there was less generalizing, fewer grudges, and less hate. It would be the ultimate remedy for conflict that grasps so harshly onto our international relationships.
I believe it’s time for all of us to take a field trip back to third grade and remember how we were taught to treat people with respect. Look for excuses to value someone, not excuses to treat them inferior.
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