This page has moved to a new address.

The curse of them and us

Glittering Shards: The curse of them and us

Glittering Shards

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The curse of them and us

Many words have been spoken and written in the last 2 weeks about the bomb attacks on London - some of them inspiring and moving, others naive or downright stupid and hateful.
For me, this doesn't feel like a time for saying lots, but for listening - really listening to what is said and to the fears and hopes behind what is said - and letting form come out of the chaos.
One thought that strikes me clearly from what I have heard so far is that the view of other humans as 'them' or 'those people', different (and by implication inferior) to 'us' is a root cause of what happened on 7/7. Whenever we create a dividing line that defines people as an alien, inferior 'other' - separate from us - we take our eyes off our common humanity and the responsibilities that come with this - to treat 'them' as we treat 'us'. I worry about any language used in conversation that slips into 'them and us' speak:
"those people"
"you people"
...or the categorising people in a way that goes beyond simple description and conveys disdain and an assumption that "they are all the same" and you are better...
(say following words with derisory tone...)
"the management"
"young people"
Acknowledging differences, working with them, struggling with them.....yes!
Using those differences to distance myself from others so that they are less my human family and more an alien and inferior 'other'!!
That's a seed that, once grown into a big ugly tree, bears the fruit of destruction that led 4 men to blow up the 'other' because they were not like them.
My prayer is that I and others become more and more aware of 'them and us' and don't allow it to root itself in our lives and actions.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Always lovely to hear your thoughts...

<< Home