Monday, August 11, 2014

Us and Them

            It seems like it has become a tradition that I write a blog post while selling chainmaille at Festival of Friends. I don’t really have much choice – I’ll be getting home late enough that I really won’t be feeling like writing anything.

            So, while we were watching the crowds wandering the festival, my wife commented to me on how fascinating it is to see how many different type of people there are. Not that we were unaware of their existence before, but it’s not often that we get to see such a mix in one place.

            When people leave the house, people generally dress for where they’re going. If it’s work, they’re wearing their work clothes, to parties they wear fancy clothes. At the sorts of events we go to, people usually dress however they want to (admittedly, sometimes this involves costumes) and that allows their personalities and interests to show through. They are usually more comfortable and more personable when chatting. That’s when you really get to see how diverse our society is. What it tells me more than anything else is how no two people are alike.

            Yet, at the same time, we always are trying to group people into categories. Be it race, interests, gender, hair colour, clothing, music, country – it doesn't matter. We’ll slap a name on them and call them all the same. We even do it to ourselves; we find a category of like minded people, give ourselves a name and proudly declare ourselves to be part of the group.

            Suddenly there’s an “Us” and “Them”. I don’t even need to comment on what that leads to.

            Where does it come from, though? I think, at its very core, it stems from our own innate insecurities. Because without these groups, it is “Me” and “Them”. With how many other people there are out there, it’s nice to feel like there are some that are the same as us, who will stand with us against the massive forces of “Them”.

            The truth is, there is no “Them”. Only “Us”. It doesn't matter how we group and categorize people, because if you go into any one of those groups and talk to all of them, you will discover that the group is made up of people who are unique – just like you.

            I think it’s time we do away with these false ideas like “Them” and “Normal” and admit that each and every one of us is unique and completely alone. Just like everyone else. And because of our unique loneliness, we are all the same. There is only “Us”.

Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.

To see my chainmaille, click here.

If there's any subject you'd like to see me ramble on about, feel free to leave a comment asking me to do so.

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