Words from Dic(tionary)
Alike: 1. (adj) similar to each other: e.g. the brothers were very much alike. 2. (adv) in the same or similar way: e.g. the girls dressed alike
It scares the crap out of me.
And of course, anybody who would suggest that we, as human beings, are more alike than different would be pummeled by the masses and scurried away in an unmarked car, to oblivion by Madison Avenue.
For after all, if we cannot establish that we are different, how can we make ourselves special?
I don’t know when it happened for me. I think pretty early on, I discovered that the only true value in being a human being was finding other kindred and realizing how much we were alike.
- I didn’t want to live on a desert island.
- I didn’t want to crack my coconuts all alone.
- I didn’t want to believe I was a snowflake and God made me unique.
No, I wanted to be part of a blizzard, falling to the earth in unison, creating a beautiful, sparkling horizon.
I’m not so sure we will make progress when we continue to tout reasons for differences among us. Our more noble adventures expel this idea as being “out of school.” Over and over again, in our more enlightened moments, we discover truth.
I’m talking about the Jeffersonian revelation of “all men being created equal.” The Good Book, establishing that there is “no temptation that is not common to us all.” We seem to stumble on the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind, and in so doing, create such a commonality that it warrants a planet-wide “group hug.”
But then, just as quickly, we become prickly. We’re not satisfied to be followers of Jesus–we need another sub-division. Lutheran. Methodist. Baptist. And that still isn’t enough. We specialize that name with a more refined tradition, until eventually we convince ourselves that our ideas have germinated solely from our uniquely inspired brain.
If it were not so dangerous, we could just leave it alone. Yet after all, Hitlers are not birthed and promoted from the ranks of “joiners.” They are alienated, bitter, frustrated individualists who keep shrinking the planet down to a tiny few who have a vendetta against the remaining plurality.
I am odd. I keep looking for reasons to be alike with my fellow travelers.
When I see a homeless person on the street, I do not view him as an alien, but rather, a possible projection of myself years earlier, had I missed one or two paychecks.
When I see a woman, I do not consider her to be inferior or even separate from my own Eden spirit. She is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.
I fear for America because we believe in the excellence of our pursuits due to our superiority over others less fortunate. But since we are only the beneficiaries of such a blessed land because of freedom, and every person who is given freedom is free indeed, we should start trying to find reasons where we are alike with the world around us … or else we may find ourselves abandoned, cuddling up to our own conceit.