Most of the people on this planet live through the ego. They feel that they themselves are special, apart from the crowd in some way, but are unwilling to acknowledge other people’s specialness. They feel threatened by people who are different from them, but instead of trying to understand another person’s point of view, they condemn them.
The different specialty clubs
There are many different ‘exclusive clubs’ that people proudly belong to. There are the:
- nationality clubs
- skin color clubs
- Rich, poor and between clubs
- political clubs
- religious clubs
- sexual orientation clubs
- disabled clubs
- sickness clubs
- sport clubs
- creative arts clubs
- Intellectual and non-intellectual clubs
- environmental clubs
- animal rights clubs
- Food Choice Clubs
- Health Choice Clubs
And the list goes on! What many people don’t recognize is that there is in fact only one club
The Human Being Club
Our diversity is what makes life interesting. I love seeing people who dance or create music beautifully, generate emotions through their acting skills, or are accomplished athletes. I also understand myself well enough to know that I don’t have enough passion for any of these things to make the necessary sacrifices to come close to their level of excellence. When she was in her teens and 20s, she played guitar and sang folk songs in public and was also immersed in amateur theater; in fact, she wanted to be a Shakespearean actress at the time. In retrospect, I realize that these activities were not my greatest passion. I have friends who are athletes, dancers, singers and artists, each of them has such a passion for their form of expression that, for them, it is as important as breathing. Although I might have had talent, I didn’t have the overwhelming passion needed and therefore I don’t belong to their clubs; I can only glimpse inside the door through my friends.
In most parts of the world, creative arts club members are happily accepted and even sought after, and the ‘cream of the crop’ is showered with our admiration due to their superior skills. There are some countries where creative expression is banned and the consequences are dire, but luckily these are few and far between.
The positive and negative effects of these clubs
As mentioned above, creative arts club members are not usually ostracized and many other clubs are willing to open their doors to these people and accept them as friends. However, not all clubs are the same.
Many clubs give visitation rights to members of other clubs! For example, many of us today have friends and colleagues of different nationalities, skin colours, religions, politics, sexual orientation, etc. The mix of members of these clubs creates the platform for the Human Beings club.
Problems really do come through the hard core members of any of these clubs. The self-righteous – the people who hate anyone who is different! Their intolerance is the main cause of suffering in this world of ours. The clubs with the most money, power and influence, i.e. the political, religious and health option clubs, can target these hard core members of their own clubs and other clubs and manipulate and push them into behavior that has originated in beliefs based on fear. From there another club is formed: the ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ club.
Being a paid member of any of these clubs can be extremely limiting. Some club memberships are obvious, that is. I can’t pretend I’m not in the white English women’s club – I could get away with it for a short while, but whites and women most definitely aren’t!
Some people are afraid of being kicked out by other club members if they spread their wings and start making friends with members of other ‘not allowed/tolerated’ clubs. In truth, they could lose both their friends and family if they made that decision, so fear keeps them in a club that no longer suits them and restricts their learning and advancement.
I also have doubts about the ‘sickness’ clubs. I know that it is comforting to be in communication with others who have the same illnesses, who can offer us support in our most difficult moments and when we are in pain. However, I think a lot depends on the orientation of the specific club, whether it works as a ‘pity party’ or is full of people who are really trying to get better (and don’t believe it when they tell you they can’t) and they are prepared to look beyond accepted medical practices to find a cure, whether it be switching to a raw food diet or trying homeopathy. If there is an exchange of information, with people reporting cures, then they have more power. However, if it becomes a bunch of people bewailing their fate, that closes the door on health and, a question I often ask myself, what happens if one person in this club gets better? Lose your membership?
Love, Tolerance and Understanding
Instead of trying to wipe people who are different from us off the face of the earth, why can’t we just communicate and understand their point of view? In the grand scheme of things, despite what is normally reported, I believe that most people are peace-loving and willing to consider the beliefs of others. We only hear the news about the hard core extremists in these various groups and then we tend to have an unbalanced view of the world in general.
The populations of many countries have become so fear-based by what is going on in their individual lives, that they actually vote for fear-based leaders who intend to lead them to war – they vote for people who come from of an energy similar to yours. own self. Therefore, people who think are equal to them. In fact, if any politician dares to mention peace or talk to ‘the enemy’, they are branded as weak or traitors, when in fact they are the ones trying to improve our lives. Somehow we are seeing ‘war talks’ as strong and ‘peace talks’ as weak. How strange is that!
I always remember that my grandmother was very scared when she found out that a black family was moving in next door. At that time in Bristol there were very few black families in the area and Nanna had only seen black people on television. Such were the times! A few months after the family moved in, Nanna had nothing but praise for them. That winter had been extremely harsh with heavy snowfall and she told me that when the man next to her cleaned her own steps, he cleaned hers too; no one had ever done that for her before. She treated her as if she had treated her own mother. All it took was familiarity and a little communication and fear went out the window. On top of that, my closest friend at the time was Jamaican, so she had first-hand experience of our similarities, rather than our differences.
I think it’s human nature to communicate and collaborate with people who are like us, but what many people see as ‘like us’ boils down to very superficial characteristics. I remember my Jamaican friend’s sister was very upset. She had been the only black woman in his company and then another black woman was hired. They were automatically put to work together because they were both black and obviously had a lot in common, so the employer thought! The truth was that they had nothing in common, they did not come from the same country and they actively detested each other. It is always a mistake to assume anything on a purely superficial basis.
I consider myself very lucky to have had an open-minded father, who was able to look past the surface and see the person on the inside. I remember when he invited a stranger over to the house, who turned out to be the local bum. What Dad had seen was this man’s camera, and he saw beyond the poverty and homelessness to the photographer within. They had a great conversation about photography.
I have many friends who are members of a variety of the aforementioned clubs and each of them has taught me a great deal about different cultures and lifestyles and enriched my life in the process. I encourage anyone to strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t look like them. You might be surprised to find out exactly how much they have in common!