Look, we know our world is fucked: destroying the planet in the name of profit and in disregard for future generations, and the divisions within our society both social and economic. The divide between rich and poor, between whites and blacks, and other minorities, between each other, between other countries and nations, between different ideologies and religions ― This world is fucked up.
I know as a white male I cannot understand the discrimination of black people or other visible minorities experience on any given day. I understand that I cannot, but as a person with a visible handicap and as a gay man. I grew up in the projects and my family was working class. We grew up on the basics and with little luxuries. So, I know what it is to be different. I know what it is to feel outcast. This realization has kept me grounded and it has made me more empathic to the plight of others.
I cannot answer for another, and as I have stated: I am far from perfect, but I try to live in respect for myself and for others. I try to accept people for who they are. This was not an instant transition. In-fact it was quite gradual, and I very much consider it to be a continuous process. At first, there was a lot of unlearning about ‘us’ and ‘them.’ I read the newspapers, the internet and social media. I tried to educate myself and I tried to ‘put myself into another’s shoes.’ As I have aged, this has become easier to do; however, I can only change myself. I cannot change another person. I strive to be better ― educate myself, question my assumptions, beliefs and values. I can only change me. I attempt to treat others as I would like to be treated. I try to accept other people’s differences and to see their value and worth. WE are all worthy of respect, kindness, generosity and help when required.
But the media marketing and propaganda machine continues to push the elitist agenda. We are bombarded with messages: buy this and buy that, we must fill in the blank here, i.e., go to war, crush this group or that group, etcetera. I could expand this thought, but you get the message. We must not consume everything on the planet for ourselves without any consideration of how it will affect the future and our future generations. We must strive to be happy with the basics of life and to ensure other have the basics of life for themselves. We must strive to minimize the gap between the rich and the poor ― the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots.’ We must learn to accept people for being people and learn to recognize our difference, but to not accept them, but to cherish these differences. We must learn to people for who they are. We must continuously strive to question their message as our planet’s future relies on this.
I am far from perfect. No one is; this is just part of our limitation of being human. And, I will be the first to tell you that I do not have all the answers. I do not think anyone does, but if we all work as one, then I believe we can discover the answers and solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.
We are at the cusp of a new paradigm shift, either we all work together as one to find solutions and learn to live as one, or we will all perish in war, famine, disease and pollution.
From space, the world is one. There are no boundaries and there is but one race: Humanity. Let us strive to live as such.
—Robert Confiant 10 July 2016