Live and let live.
This is one of my favorite sayings. Not just because I am a big James Bond fan but rather because I am a big fan of every human being having the right to live their true god given life. I recently took my first trip ever to Ellis Island and the statue of liberty, despite driving past it for many years while living in New Jersey.
Seeing this great lady really got me to thinking about what this meant to all those people that came into this country many years ago in pursuit of freedom. Freedom from religious persecution, freedom from their rulers, and freedom to start all over again,
Now think about these words:
Hate,Prejudice, Racism, Homphobia, Sexism, Xenophobia, Privilege,Ethnocentricity, Nationalism, Tribalism, Religious belief, Classism, Level of Education
These are all words that express reasons why a person would not be free to live their true lives. All of these words and many more not listed here, serve to separate and distinguish one person from the other. In the end, this will cause division and subsequently loss of personal freedoms. What gives any one individual the right to tell another how they should live or who they should be.
At the end of the day, we are all members of the human race. If I choose to worship a certain god, that should be my right. If I choose to love someone of the same sex that should be my right. This right is my freedom to be whom ever I want to be.
The fact that I am a certain ethnicity or have a certain level of education or come from a certain country should not make me any worse or any better than someone else.
If we all choose to live and let live, the world would be a better place.
The only caveat to this is if your choices are affecting someone else’s right to be. For instance, if you are racist and burn crosses in front of someone’s home you are not letting them be. If you are using derogatory slurs against a neighbor in a relationship with someone of the same sex then you are not letting them be. If you overlook a qualified person for a job because of their sex or color of their skin or their religion, then you are wrong. This is because at the end of the day, they are not doing anything that affects your ability to live your life in any way, or anything that affects any of your freedoms.
I have no problem with racists or sexists or homophobes, because they too have a right to their own opinions except when their actions can physically or emotionally harm others.
I do believe we all have some inherent prejudices or biases. It may not be the big ones, but maybe we’ve looked at someone with less money a little differently. Or thought a little less of someone of a certain religion. Or looked at a handicapped person without compassion or judged a homeless person.
I urge you all to take this opportunity to examine some of your practices and beliefs. You probably don’t think you have any prejudices, but you may be surprised. Remember if you have the freedom to be you, then so should everyone else
What are some of your prejudices or biases? How do you think you can go about changing it for the better.
As always, thanks for reading