Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Make Room For Yourself

"Jews cannot fight antisemitism alone, Muslims cannot fight Islamaphobia alone, gays cannot fight homophobia alone. The victim cannot cure the crime, the hated cannot cure the hater. We are as big or as small as the space we make for others who are not like us."  - Rabbi Lord Sacks

How true this statement is.

There is so much phobia in the world today. Homophobia, Islamaphobia, Christianphobia (yes, I made that up just now), racism, Transphobia, sexism... Why? Because it makes us feel better about ourselves? Because "we're right and everyone else is wrong"? Because to admit that men like roses is the same as stripping them of their masculinity?

I'm not having it. The human race is a huge amalgamation of different beliefs, different colours, different traditions, different sexual orientations, and yes, different gender identities. Instead of trying to make everyone else conform to what we think is "normal", we should be celebrating our differences. Because it is those differences which make us so wonderful.

By limiting others, we are actually limiting ourselves. By telling others "You were born a female, and therefore you can not be a male" or "You can not marry another man" we are actually imprisoning ourselves in a cage made of petty prejudices that will one day come back to bite us.

On the flip side, if we make room for those who are different than us then we make more room for our own beliefs and our own feelings. And the world will be so much better for it.

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