Less labeling, more friendships – How to create more equality:

First of all, not everybody wants an equal society out of fear of loosing their own status, money, job and/or power. And within this lies the greatest challenge which is daring to believe in the access to a good life for everybody. If this is possible in a hierarchical eco-system that we humans also are part of? But please, let’s assume we have enough for everybody’s basic needs and only have to fight for a better life.

There are two ways of creating more equality. One is to integrate and blend more, focusing on what unites us as humans and our inherent equal worthiness. The other way, is to differentiate and separate more, by deliberately grouping people based on the culture of a specific group they feel at home with. Not because we tend to flock out of fear, but as an actual choice that is supported by the ruling government officials.

But either way, becomes a matter of comparisons. What have we learned about that? And what about our needs? We all have them, they are essential for all humans, but not to the same extent, at the same time, or how. They must always be individually assessed and are always depending on the environment we live in (besides what we would like).

So, back to the flock.

The only way to create positive change in society ground up, is through individual choices and personal relationships. The slogan for living more sustainable is applicable also when we refer to races, gender and sexual orientation: Think global, act local! You can’t have a personal relationship with everybody everywhere or relate to, but you can with someone where you already live. How you treat someone might spread, but it’s not about how you have to treat everybody in the whole world, because it’s always a matter of how you are treated yourself too. It’s always right with compassion and respect.

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Strike up a conversation with someone new that looks different than you. Get to know him or her on a personal level, whether as a friend, co-worker, teacher or student. And whether for work or school, sports or going shopping:

Unless we are going on a date, I don’t need to know who you have sex with. But you can share who you love…

Unless we are going to church together, I don’t need to know if you rather prefer a mosque. But you can share if you like to worship…

Unless your history is stopping you from moving forward with your life, I don’t need to know what you’ve been through. But you can share how you feel…

What you believe in, what you like and don’t like, and how, is where we meet, especially if we both have the same problem that needs to be solved, focusing on how to.

Refer to the new acquaintance on a first name basis. This way each person becomes the name, rather than the label.

And, focus on the common interest.

(For example: I’m currently staying in a hostel apartment with an older white man from Germany and a younger black guy from Portugal. They argued with each other so much the caretaker had to come, but they stopped when I reminded them that we should use first names when referring to one another and focus on logistics. Photo is from a couple of years ago from a dance workshop in Hawaiian Hula that I held in Stockholm.)