People think they are different if they have different colors, races, nationalities, gender, age, languages, religions, beliefs, social capital, financial capabilities, cognitive and mental abilities, or even values and principles. Maybe we are just temporarily different but we are all humans. I am not a big fan of computer jargon or using technology as metaphors, but it is the closest I found so far to serve my argument. Here it is: our hardware is the same “have identical physiology “and our operating system is the same “have similar needs”. The only difference is our installed applications; I mean we are all programmed to behave differently when we come across similar situations. Yes, we are different in terms of what we believe and do, at the end of the day though, we are still the same species.
The fallacy is that we do believe we are born different. Our differences are perceived not permanent. We change our beliefs at least once over the course of our lives and our attached behaviors change accordingly. We are all equal because we are the same. This is common sense, but as one said: “common sense is not common” the reality is that we behave based on the false assumption of that we are different because we have different genes. Think about the countless times you hated or disgraced or stayed away from other people just because you thought they have different colors, values, religious beliefs, etc… then either your life circumstances make you see the other side of them and completely forget about the differences and consider them trivial, or you might change your values yourself and start building a new criteria for good or bad humans, making yesterdays’ aliens your today’s best friends. The opposite situation is also true; you start a relationship with someone because he or she belongs to the same social group, or speaks the same language or has the same nationality, then you find out that he or she is different, the relationship eventually dies and you then start over with someone from a different background.
We all need a wake-up call every once and while, something that can awaken the human within us, update our system and uninstall the outdated programs. A book, a neutral but constructive feedback could act as the antivirus against biases and shallow stereotypes. The best bet is everyday’ reflection, five or ten minutes every day would gradually challenge our comfort zone and status-quo and make us immune from drifting into the illusion of permanent differences.