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The Seed of War vs Embracing Our Differences
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Have you ever considered what the seed of war is? Take a moment and give it some thought. If you want, jot down some of your ideas before you continue reading.

Now that you’ve given the question some thought, perhaps you consider yourself a person of peace and the idea of war is foreign to you. However, let’s first consider something Professor Michael Hall, creator of Neuro-Semantics, said. He said that fundamentalism is believing completely and wholly in one’s beliefs. Beliefs are  a cluster of thoughts around a shared meaning often implying a certainty of something. In addition, a belief is a conviction of some supposed truth of a statement or reality. He goes on to theorize that if every school in the world taught that our thoughts do not exactly and accurately map “reality,” terrorism would be impossible. Re-read that and sit with it for a moment.
Consider the fact that most of us are so attached to the way we view ourselves compared to how we view the world that it becomes easier to bully or even kill people who disagree with us. On a less global scale, many of us would be appalled by such a notion and refute it by saying, “I wouldn’t kill anybody,” which is probably true. But there is a part of us that tends to push others away so vehemently because of our differences that it creates the gap that keeps feeding this syndrome. In other words, are we choosing to either help or hurt the cause for peace?
Here’s a question for you to consider: Why is it so difficult for us to see our human similarities and easier to focus on our differences? Could it be that we are scared of having a connection with someone who is not like us? Or could it be about the inner workings of our own disgruntled childhood upbringings?
Conflict and differences are part of creation and part of living in duality; there is positive and negative. Noticing these differences can be very helpful in educating ourselves in order to know who we are, as well as others. Yet, focusing on difference without holding the polarity creates what we can call drama.
Drama has been around for a very long time in our human history. Shakespeare did such a wonderful job showing internal conflicts. Just consider any number of his plays and you will recall these conflicts, but it is important to know our own internal conflicts in order to have a better or more peaceful life.
More recently in our human history, soap operas have become part of our culture. They began on radio and then went on to television where an audience could be privy to the drama of characters’ misfortunes.
Now we have the current obsession with reality TV. These shows illustrate dysfunctional dramas that usually have no resolution, no helpful moral and no particular insightful lessons. What these reinforce is a distorted sense of being grateful, believing that we are at least not as messed up as “those people.” Often, this allows us to think we are different, which in our minds, equals to being better. Therefore, we cannot actually identify with the suffering of these people and usually lack much empathy for them. In other words, focusing on our differences tends to lead to judging others.
Let’s move away from the drama that comes to us from the television and look at this topic on a more intimate level. As human beings, we do seem to get caught up wanting to know the business of our neighbors while often relishing in comparing ourselves to them and thinking ourselves as better, for one reason or another. When people have differences and have a common enemy, it often becomes “us” against “them.” Why, though, is it easier to focus on these differences and why do they threaten us? 
In reality, these differences are where those seeds of war come from.
Yes, it is the nature of the mind to categorize, discern and to make some sense for ourselves. Some of that is absolutely necessary to do to survive. However, does this categorization become a means for judging someone simply for having a difference of opinion, different lifestyle, for the car they drive, the clothes they wear or the job they have? Or do we like someone because they are like us in one way or another? Either way, we are stuck constantly dividing the world into thoughts of “I like” or “I don’t like.”


I invite you to take a step in discovering the seeds you have inside of you and think about ways you can help create peace that will benefit yourself as well as others. With that in mind, try the following:

Challenge yourself to spend as much time during the day noticing how you use differences to either create hatred, distaste or fear about another person. What do you do with the differences you have noticed? Pay close attention and see how this reaction could escalate into a way that creates large gaps in what could be either a positive or negative connection.

In addition, how do you encourage yourself to see the larger picture? How do you encourage others? When each of us takes responsibility and encourages others to do so as well we have a chance to really transform the way we live. Without this responsibility, we personalize the differences and dehumanize each other.
I look forward to hearing from you and how you have found ways to appreciate the differences and similarities with others.  


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