Who are you?  We identify ourselves by labels.  We brand ourselves with titles.  Are you man or woman?  Old or young?  Christian?  Jewish?  Islamic?  Agnostic?  White?  Black?  Employed?  Retired?  Parent?  Child?  Uncle?  Republican?  Democrat? Heterosexual?  Homosexual? 

The list of labels goes on and on.  We all identify with multiple labels.   We allow ourselves to be defined by these labels.  And while we may be many things, there is one label that applies to us ALL and I believe it to be the MOST important thing that we are...

We are human beings; all of us.  If we were NOT of the human race; the one race that we ALL belong to, we could not be anything else.  None of the labels above would be possible.  

Like it or not, we are ALL tied together by the fact that we are human.  We ALL share this "bond."  You may not like the fact that the person you despise is tied to you as a human, but that is fact.  You may think that a person does not act like a human and that may be true  You may think that a person has no respect for humanity and that may be true.  But none of this changes the fact that we are all human.

I wish that we could all remember that.  I wish that we could all respect that.  However, I know that is not least not at this point in time.

I am, or I try to be, optimistic.  I also am realistic.  Asking the world to treat each other with respect is not going to change the world.  But it might change one person.  Or it even might change one situation or event.

I say all this because recently I established a friendship.  We met because we had a shared musical interest.  Over time it became apparent that we don't see eye to eye on many things/issues.  Some of the things this person thinks (or says they think) I completely disagree with...some of their social media shares offend me.  Should I cut this person off?

In this case, I decided no.  We are both of the human race.  We DO have things in common and I would rather focus on that than on what drives us apart.  

That is not to say that I will turn a blind eye.  There may come a point where we need to have discussion.  A respectful discussion. And if that time comes and we cannot have a respectful discussion or if an incident or issue occurs that so breaks with my values of humanity, then I MAY have to discontinue our friendship.  But that's only IF...and why focus on the negative when we BOTH can focus on the positive?  

I am not one is, but I chose to focus on the good in humanity.  I chose to try and remember that we ALL are of the same race.  I chose to try to build bridges rather than burn them. 

I will not change the world, but I will improve my own.


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