If I had to pick one topic that has been preoccupying my thoughts lately, it is the outdated concept of “the other”.
In the most simplistic terms, “the other” (henceforth just Other) is the bucket into which I would throw everything that was not me (e.g. “I wouldn’t do that!” in essence means my Other would). Any line in the sand had what I believed to be me on one side with my Other occupying the space across that threshold.
This is such a dangerous concept, to believe in an Other. It is the cause of so much grief and suffering and bloodshed in this world, because when we see an Other, we say internally, “That is not me!”, and the things we do to those we do not perceive as connected to us are often attrocious.
I am looking for those parts of me that I have cast out, that I have deemed as part of my Other in the past, and I am embracing them. This is not easy, and I am stumbling on my way, but it is connecting me to so much of humanity that I have previously shunned.
What would happen to this world if we stopped seeing the lines in the sand? Or, perhaps the better question is what would happen if we recognized that we can move those line wherever we choose, and that the concept of Other is useful if mutable?