There is a dangerous virus that pervades many minds on this planet. It is so woven into the fabric of our conditioning that many don’t even recognize it in themselves. The assumption that “We’re right” and “They’re wrong” is a given to many people on this planet. There are the true believers who believe that their race, religion, political affiliation, nation, ethnic group, or point of view are unquestionably superior.
This virus is ancient and it is persistent. Do you remember this scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey? How different are many of our actions today from this primitive display?
Then there are many who fall into this mindset simply from conditioning of one kind or another. They come not to recognize the bias any more. There are also those otherwise happy, positive people who, because of some traumatic or horrific event, have found justification for giving another group globalized characteristics. There are some who just flat believe humanity cannot change.
To me, this mindset limits us, keeps us in perpetual cycles of fear and violence. We feel justified, even righteous in shouting down or shooting down “Them”. I don’t pretend that this post is going to change all of this. My goal is to simply make you reflect on the degree to which you subscribe to an “Us” vs. “Them” mindset in your life.
These are a combination of Tweets from the past few years and some new thoughts as well. May we all continue to grow and transform this mindset in our lives.
- When the labels start, the critical thinking has stopped.
- Those who live in a world of “Us” vs. “Them” never contemplate that they are someone else’s “Them”.
- How arbitrary and fate-driven are the things that divide us. How conscious and choice-driven are the things that unite us.
- There is no greater impediment to the world we seek than the refrain, “But they…”.
- The tribe says, “Pick a side”. The wise say, “Been there. Tried that.”
- As long as your mind is divided into “Us” and “Them”, your world will be too!
- Those who divide the world into “Us” vs. “Them” miss the point. It always “Us” vs. “Us”
- Leaders who use “Us” vs. “Them” to secure their power deserve neither leadership, nor power.
- Hatred is a fire and its first victim is the hater.
- “Us” and “Them” are tyranny’s two favorite constituencies.
- “Us” vs. “Them” is a fear-centered world. A fear-centered world disempowers all of us.
- “They started it!” Two-year-olds in the sandbox or the mantra of world leaders in the “Us” vs. “Them” paradigm?
- The borders in our minds and the borders in our world are built of fears.
- Labels are toxic mental residue masquerading as critical thinking.
- There is no difference between a fundamentalist “Us” and a fundamentalist “Them”.
- “Us” vs. “Them” is a dead end mindset…literally.
- Whatever anger rules, anger destroys.
- Every time you think of the world in terms of “Us” vs. “Them”, you are empowering the dividers.
- Who you are born is fate. Who they are born is fate. Who we become is a choice.
- Many a king has kept “Us” together by creating a frightening “Them”.
- Those who divide the world into “Good Us” and “Evil Them”, must always avoid looking into mirrors.
- “Tastes Great” vs. “Less Filling” politics only conditions the mind of the people, robbing them of half their right to vote.
- The divisions we grow in our minds are the divisions we find in our world.
- We label what we refuse to understand.
- We live on a tiny blue ball in a great black vastness. How do we manage to convert that into division, rather than togetherness?
- In the mindset of “Us” vs. “Them”, peace is impossible and war is inevitable.
- But for fate, “They” would be “Us” and “We” would be “Them”.
- Every dogma that you hold, holds you. Every grudge that you hold, holds you.
- When you look for evil in others, you find it. When you look for goodness in others, you find it. That change is not in them. That change is in you.
- Labels are mental blocks that stifle discussion and critical thought, beginning in the mind and continuing out into the world.
- Open your mind to “Their” perspective. Walk a mile in the “Their” shoes. Read something you don’t agree with.
- Focus on seeing the “Us” in “Them” and the “Them” in “Us”. Soon you forget who is who.
- The unconscious superstructure underlying “Us” vs. “Them” is that I am part of “Us”. That, by default, makes “Us” right and “Them” wrong.
- As long as there are borders in our minds, there will be borders on our maps.
- See the world as “Us” and “Them and it is. See the world as We and it is.
- In the mindset of “Us” vs. “Them”, their evil justifies ours.
- Never was a greater money maker devised than war. Never was a simpler trigger for war devised than “Us” vs. “Them”.
- Every division on this planet is human-made and can be human-unmade.
- Let us transform fear into love and division into common purpose.
- Let us come out from behind our masks; come out from behind our labels; and live in peace as human beings.
- Let us create a world where fearing each other is ridiculous and loving each other is as expected as the next breath.
- Let us create a world where the adjective we are all most proud of is human being.
- Let us create a world where we love each other for our commonalities, rather than despising each other for our differences.
- Let us create a world where kindness is seen as a strength and violence is seen as a failure.
- Let us create a world where living in peace is as expected as the next breath.
- Let us get beyond our petty differences and move on to life’s bigger questions.
- Let us create a world where respecting our differences is as expected as the next breath.
- Let us each listen to our own heart and to the collective heart; both of which are calling us to greater things.
- Let us be quicker to love and slower to judge.
- Let each of us commit our lives to mending fences, rather than building walls.
- Let us live according to our hopes for each other, rather than our fears of each other.
- Let us remember the commonality of our human predicament and the things that connect us rather than those that divide us.
Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.