We are all human beings. It seems a very obvious fact, but it’s something we can very easily forget or overlook.
As soon as we’re born, we are cast in a role. We are labeled with the characteristics associated with our role, and as we grow, we are given different roles. We play the parts of student, son/daughter, friend, etc. We encounter other roles, and it is here that the problem starts to arise. There are the roles of teacher, policeman, doctor, and countless others. The clash of these characters can sometimes take the humanity out of the human race. In a school setting, there are teachers and there are students. Outside of school, these roles should melt away, but they don’t. There are employees and bosses in the workplace, but after hours, those lines are still drawn. We are a collection of labels: poor, smart, ugly, mail room worker. It’s as if these sets of roles are tattooed on our very limbs.
How often do we let these labels get in the way of our ability to get along with a person? Students forget that teachers are human beings with families, problems, and lives outside of the halls of academia. Teachers forget that students are more than their letter grades, their tough exteriors, and the company they keep. Bosses aren’t all curmudgeons delighting in the suffering of their employees, just as employees do not live merely to serve their superiors.
And while we’re on the subject of superiority, what gives us the right to say that one human life is superior to another? Level of education? The people they know? Why do we stalk celebrities and hold their lives under a microscope? What makes them so interesting and so much “better” than the rest of us?
When you strip away all of the characteristics that society has cast upon us, we are all human. We are all living, breathing, loving, hurting, beautiful human beings trying to make it in the world, and it’s no help when we forget that we are in this together. The minute we put someone on a pedestal is the moment we knock someone else down immeasurably. When the working day is done, we are all on equal footing, no matter what car we walk to or what house we go home to.
Let’s come clean and start over, regardless of what life or society has decided we are. We have more in common than in opposition. I promise.