Habitual behaviour, autonomic responses? Mindfulness is required!

I watched an advert doing the rounds on Facebook yesterday, it was for a South African beer I think. It resonated with me.

The story is basically a group of strangers giving their first impressions of one another from photographs.

Pretty much all the statements they made were negative or judgmental, now obviously this was a beer advert and may or may not have been genuine footage and if genuine might have been edited so only negative examples were included but it made me think. These people made statements about one another not realising they would meet. Whether they would have made different comments had they known they would need to justify them is unknown. It being an advert, they talked it through and hugged it out.

What surprised me was my own reaction. I didn’t question the negativity at all, the only thing I found unusual was that all the black participants made the statement that the white ones looked like racists. Then I realised the advert was South African and that seemed to make sense. But there in itself is my own naivety, and judgement coming out. Ok Aparthied was more recently overturned than say segregation in the US but what do I know about it, about either of them? Yes Rosa Parks and the bus seat, Martin Luther King and the civil right movement. Nelson Mandela’s 27 year imprisonment but this is history I learned about other countries. I’m from the UK. Of course we have our share of racist idiots but we didn’t have that level of separation. The slave trade was hidden from us way out in the colonies, we didn’t want to think about it!

I hate racism and prejudice not just the stereotypical white on black crap but all the other nonsense, Welsh v English, West Indian v African, Pakistani v Indian and religion bashing, no religious text preaches violence, this negativity in all things is wearing. It’s devoid of intelligence to dislike a person based on the melanin content of their skin, their religious beliefs or sexual orientation. My skin colour has no baring on my personality, what I get up to in my head or my bed has no baring on anyone unless I’m sharing it with them.

This doesn’t mean I’m not judgmental though however much I’d like not to be. We make snap judgements about people, all day every day we make up our minds based on their appearance, weight, accent, job title, you name it.

We want to fit in somewhere, find our tribe, belong! That’s human nature but why does this mean we revert to them and us mentality? Surely you can fit in without berating those in another demographic.

Why can’t we all just live and let live? Better still helped one another. You can go out of your way to enrich the lives of others without costing anything financially. You loose nothing by helping another in fact you gain from the experience, emotionally, spiritually. You might make a friend, change a life. The expression one candle looses nothing by lighting another is valid for human interaction too.

There are enough resources in the world to feed and clothe every one of us but the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, that isn’t natural selection or survival of the fittest, it’s greed!

To save the planet both in a literal sense from the extinction of species to global warming and a moral stand point for the prevention of conflict, genocide and the heart braking necessity of economic migration we need to stop the psychology of ‘them and us’..’mine, mine, mine! And work together or there may not be a world left for us to fight over!

A x

#middleage #life #kind #humankind #judgement #love

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