There is a universal, unbreakable bond that every human shares: their humanity. Regardless of the circumstances of their birth or the environment in which they were raised, every person alive on the Earth began their life as a human and will live that life as a human. The human ‘experience’ is the only one that any of us are familiar with. Unfortunately, we live in a world deeply divided by perceived differences in race, religion, and politics. We reject and fight each other over our differences, while ignoring our commonalities. We fail to recognize that even the things which divide us are uniquely and distinctly human, and are shared by every human alive. In order to reverse the plight of violence which so often arises from our perception of differences in other humans, we must embrace our common human heritage. Instead of disdain, our differences should be given embrace: they make us more similar than we may initially recognize.
It is natural to distrust differences between ourselves and others. This is a result of our ancestry, of the tribal nature of our species. Early humans retained the aggressive tribal characteristics of our evolutionary ancestors, the sort which we still see in other primates such as chimpanzees and orangutans. Other tribes and groups, strangers, were seen as mysterious and dangerous, and their presence was made aware by their physical or cultural differences. Even though we have moved away from these early tribal times and conquered many of the natural behavioral tendencies our species has, we have not yet been able to conquer our distrust of the ‘other’. Groups of people with different cultures, different skin colors, and different beliefs are still seen as unfamiliar, mysterious, and dangerous. It is because of this perception that modern humanity still engages in destructive and violent behavior against itself.
Yet distrust and disdain of the ‘other’ disregards the extreme unity present in the human experience and the human species. The very things which divide us, such as philosophies and religions and politics, are human creations. They are entirely and absolutely human. Though we may differ in the specifics of our religion or in the ideas we have, we are similar in having a religion and ideas. Though our governments may be formed and ruled differently, they are both human attempts to govern themselves. Our culture, for example, is not unlike another culture; though their specifics may be entirely different, both are still ultimately the same thing. These things which are seen as divisive and which cause us to destroy ourselves should instead bring us together, for they are a common heritage and experience witnessed across the entire globe and the entire human population. Other factors which divide us, such as race and nationality, should also be seen as factors to bind us. Though there are many different races and skin colors of Humans on the Earth, they all belong to Humans. There is no non-Human race. Letting things such as color divide us completely disregards the powerful reality that all humans have a skin color. This is a reality which reveals the commonality of all mankind.
Eventually, as our world gets smaller and intolerance continues to wither away, the unbreakable bond that connects us all, our humanity, will be recognized. The Human species has yet to break away from its most base and violent tendencies, but one day it will. The differences which divide us will be disregarded and the overwhelming similarities across our species’ civilizations and cultures will bring us together like never before. In order to arrive at this point, however, we must begin to recognize how similar we are in our humanity, not how different our politics, philosophies, or skin color may be. We must begin to consider ourselves ‘humans’ as opposed to ‘Americans’ or ‘Africans’ or ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’. Once we see all other humans living on this planet as ‘human’, we will begin to sympathize with and treat them as such.