Being a stranger means being unfamiliar. Being somewhat different because of a certain feature. What kind of feature? Well, it could be anything. Sometimes it’s the way people talk, their slow thinking, different views, praying in a different manner or having different preferences. Very often it’s the looks, an outfit, a hairstyle, maybe really strange makeup, a tattoo or a scar. There is countless number of characteristics with which one can tell difference between two people, including identical twins. As many characteristics, as there only in a human being are. At the same time we are all homo sapiens, we all belong to the same species. Recently I’ve learnt that races don’t have reflection in DNA groups. From genetic point of view – there are no races!

What’s the point in creating all those divisions, subdivisions, categories of men. Perhaps it’s just a reflection of certain trend, very popular these days among whole western world. The trend to be an individual, seen as an individual, putting aside all associations, all assumptions that could be made, based on the group the individual belongs to. The trend with a little twist, cause everyone everywhere want’s to be special and unique. The trend that unfortunately is harmful to the common sense of plain interpersonal solidarity.

Maybe it’s the trend. It might be, that seeing others through the differences has more primal origins? Actually – what’s the difference where exactly lies the source? For all I know, ostracizing strangers is very common phenomenon. And I cannot recall any example of its’ positive outcome. I can, though, recall plenty of examples based in XX century, where it lead to true disasters. There was mass of local slaughters and there was Holocaust. There was Volyn massacre and genocide commited by NZW in Podlasie. And many more. Too many. The only lesson I consciously choose to take, is that the man is the cruelest of all animals. And he knows how to pour cruelty all over, in mass. He can plan and execute extermination of it’s own kind. And if the words of hate find an apt ground during an appropriate time, within apt society having not much to loose – it’s so easy to turn those words into neighbourhood carnage. If our lives turn around this imaginary barricade – it’s so easy to turn from a victim into assassin.
Keeping my own attitude in mind I hold onto words of N. Mandela, about rejection of hate. And the only thing I reject is rhetoric “us vs them”. The rhetoric that suggest that the world is full of strangers, meaning NOTus, caring about NOTour matters. One that underlines all the differences between us and lets us forget, how much of common interest we share – such as being healthy and safe. Such way of thinking is not only harmful to those strangers. It harms us in the first place. It teaches us a lie – that our assumption on others equal reality. It gets us so focused on the external enemy who is obviously responsible for all the failures, that it results in society’s inability to afterthought and self consciousness, inability to develop in a normal way.

to be continued