The Art of Coexistence

From the moment of our birth, we find ourselves assigned to artificial units of humanity; these are based on nationality, ethnicity, race, creed, and other factors.  As young children, we do not recognize these divisions until older humans (friends, family and other authority figures) call them to our attention and begin to instill various beliefs, prejudices and convictions in our innocent brains.

Reinforced throughout our years of maturation, these perceived divisions of humanity foster distrust, intolerance, discrimination and, in many cases, irrational fear and hatred.  Such ignorance provokes conflict, as we continue to observe in many regions across the globe.  Of course, as is becoming evident in the U.S., it also infects political systems, promoting disrespect and derailing compromise.  Intense religious and political beliefs fuel self-righteousness, blinding zealots to the needs of society as a whole.

Peaceful coexistence can only occur under circumstances in which both individual rights and social justice are respected and protected.  When particular groups attempt to undermine democracy, whether through force or an unwillingness to compromise, free societies cannot be sustained.