To put people into boxes is human. We commonly categorise people by nationality, ethnicity, age, hair colour, class, educational level, job etc. These categories, bring people together, but they also divide. So why don’t we take ourselves out of these boxes, and instead, take a look at what makes us human and how we can connect with people who we don’t normally connect with?
This article, was inspired by this great video: What happens when we stop putting people into boxes?
It made me think about how we categorise each other and how unhelpful that can be when it comes to solving global issues or questions about our humanity. As humans, we may live in different countries, have different upbringings and cultures, but remarkably we all still smile and we all know love and happiness, pain and suffering. But even with these universal human experiences, people may still feel detached from each other. Perhaps universal experience is just too broad to really find anyone to connect with.
However, if you love to watch the sunrise in the morning, there will be people in every continent who watch the same sun. If you enjoy a hot cup of tea, before you go to bed, there will people all over the world who feel the same way. Even if you cry yourself to sleep at night, there are thousands of people who do the same. If we could meet these people and talk to them face-to-face, we’d probably find out we had a lot more in common than we think. But with distance, it’s too easy for a name to become a number.
But if we start taking ourselves out of these unhelpful little boxes and if we can start connecting with others all over the globe, our whole world view could change. We arbitrarily care more about something if it happens to someone on our street, in our town or in our country. But if the same thing happens further from home, we care a lot less. We may have more in common with someone on the other side of the globe, than our neighbour down the street, but that doesn’t always count for much.
If we all commit to finding these connections with others we’ve never met, and making sure that we never forget the humans behind the numbers, we can start caring more about our global neighbours and uniting to solve problems, making a universal sense of community.
This matters, because around the world, people die everyday from poor access to healthcare. It’s too easy, to see these people as a homogenous group. But, if we start to see these people as people like us, maybe we’ll are care a little bit more and do a little bit more to make a difference. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit from a lot of people to change the world.