What does it Mean to be Different? — It is all about Fitting In!
Originally published by Illumination Curated on Medium
Racism is unmistakably wide of the mark. Anyone who respects individual sovereignty would also condemn racism and discrimination based on typical traits among people. But it has been rooted within the communal human being right from the establishment of modern societies. It is still persistent, and I think it will even exist in the future. Of course, some communities will resist racist behavior, yet others will embrace them.
Contrary to what many believe, racism is not a disease; nevertheless, it is the symptom of a significant systemic condition that nurtures from inner security breakdown; a personal status that seeks the approval and empowerment of others. It is the mental craving to fit into a group of people with similar traits. Once accepted by the group members, it will also ensure no one else is admitted within their fictitious circle.
But what if a person does not fit in any prevalently available profile?
Some tend to hold that racism only belongs to white people. So, if that is the reality, how come a child of a physically contrasting couple finds it hard to select a profile in which they fit?
- Or being accepted by one or both sides of their trait heritage?
Why does a child of black and white parents in America have a more challenging time adapting to society than an offspring of Asian and white people?
The latter questions are incredibly controversial issues, as we can find extreme opinions if we explore. For that reason, I cannot comprehend that racism is simply a disease that we can cure. Yes! We can stop it through legislation and censorship. However, it will still not change how one sees him or herself differently and even better than others because humans tend to compare themselves with others and continuously assess how they can fit in society.
The Human being is Self-Centered by Default.
We enjoy the company of those like us and repel those who don’t fit our standards. In the extremer scenario, the human being may become obsessed with the self and turn narcissist too. They may not even have described self-centered behavior as racist. Still, it is my personal opinion that if anyone is willing to see the self as perfect, then they also can favor, at the least, others who hold similar features. No wonder they say- “Birds of the feather fly together.”
Human is Cooperative by Convenience- but Individual in Realism
Despite his selfish nature, human beings tend to enjoy the company of a group willing to accept them because collective life comes with some support and benefits. Such an acceptance comes at the expense of giving up some or all individual autonomy. For that reason, the mortal will find the best set of profiles to maximize the yield from the participation in collectiveness. The latter condition is the epitome of how a person falls into the vicious circle of finding common traits, gaining confidence, a false sense of security, and ultimately fascism and racism. Falling into the trap of an ethnocentric attitude and the racist realm is simply a material of convenience and a sense of vulnerability.
Every individual is as alike as their differences!
Realistically speaking, every person wants to be the best, and those who do manage to become one have positive attitudes and drive. And those who don’t lack confidence, drive, or both, something that fuels their passion for uniting based on shared traits like race, religion, culture, country, etc.
Humanity is a Decisive Ideal
The irony of the mortal’s nature is the tendency to overidealize humanity. Yet, we also classify specific actions and tasks as humane based on our particular collective conscious percept. Only then do we start rationalizing whose way of humanity is the most ideal. Then again- every person sees the excellent deed towards another person differently. However, the problem only arises when we see such an act through the lens of fascism and collective perception.
Indeed- individuals within a community with homogenous characteristics and norms may have lesser conflict. On the contrary, children born to parents from two extreme ends of the trait spectrum will have difficulty fitting in only because that community is collectively oriented based on one rigid bundle of traits.
Being Different is a Double-Edged Sword
A society that does not observe individuality or sees it through the collective lens will come across as a double-edged sword. The victim will be doomed if they exercise “individuality” and want to fit in and accept those norms. Because the disease is not the racist person, per se, but is the system that has promoted the state of convenience for the close-minded with weak confidence to find peace within themselves at the expense of others. Again- racism is the symptom of such contagious sickness.
Being “Different” in collective terms is different from the Actual Context.
Wholly we would agree that we are all different; however, not all see our diversity differently. As I mentioned before, we tend to default on the variousness described by the labels we created and not on their unicity. For example, one may see the variance between a black and white person as whites being more intelligent. But others may see the differences between a person who has a lower IQ who is also white than a black person who has a high IQ. The meaning of the difference between two people can be completely different when utilized in the context of their preselected profile.
No one or Group is Perfect.
No one is perfect, just as accurate is relative. If one sees self as ideal, that may convey the message of arrogance. No single group holds the ultimate perfection, yet glamourizing will send the opposite message, thus fascism. And once fascism pertains to the physical characteristics of that group hence is racism.
Being Different is just as Contrasting as Feeling Different.
Feeling different is a subjective symptom, as is a weakness by itself. If someone tells me that “he is better than I am,” I would respond that the actuality proves itself as it may be accurate, but I will not buy that notion until shown. But a vulnerable person may feel anger, sadness, and apprehension, which alone is a sign of weakness. A mixed person only wants to fit into society and live a comfortable life. If it can’t match, that is because they can find the comfort zone, just as if they have a crippling disease who cannot physically contribute to society. The “disease of the Profiling” and classification of human traits is the underlying cause of the symptom of racism, fascism, and discrimination.
Feeling different is an act of Profiling by itself that will ultimately invite discrimination. The latter is also a risk for self-confidence.
Low self-confidence invites discrimination. As it conveys the wrong kind of message
Breaking the Vicious Circle of Racism will Start within Ourselves.
It is my personal opinion that the notions of individuality, ethnocentrism, populism, fascism, and racism represent various points on the spectrum where we find our confidence. Thus, those who, for whatever reason, can’t find that in themselves as a soul, then they find it somewhere along the way towards ultimate collective unity. For instance, most of us are familiar with the concept that some white supremacists theorize about, and that is, the white race will extinguish if they let darker race (The primitive race) mix in their societies. The latter only conveys one message and only one that the white supremacists are indeed insecure. And their participants are dependent on the commonality of one another to help each other thrive and prevail. Or some religious cults bring a group of people based on certain ideologies only to protect them from the different factions and mainstream. Or- furthermore, that some nations feel other countries are determined to destroy their freedom; that is why they take a preemptive approach by attacking those countries before they attack them.
Indeed, being different and focusing on variances collectively is a wrong tool for solving a personal issue. Fascism, or racism, is nothing short of uniting individuals with low self-confidence based on their common subjective vulnerabilities, such as race, social security, religion, faith, ethnicity, etc.
Confidence will bring out Individuals Excellence, and such Distinction is the Antidote for Racism.
Self-esteem is a robust personal trait, as it takes a person from the negative side of the mindset to the positive. A self-confident person has the potential to become an idol for many others. Once they do grow, their label and collective traits will be redundant, as we quite often see many black people being admired and respected by whites and vice versa. A self-assured person can excel and prevail amidst any social obstacle.
We must caution ourselves not to confuse confidence, arrogance, or narcissist behavior, as the latter two have little or nothing to do with the former. In particular, “Arrogance” is a negative peer of confidence that is fictitious and, unlike self-confidence, will repel people.
Out of proportion, vanity possession of self-confidence over credibility and conceivability will most likely come across to the bystander as arrogant.
Self-Value brings Individual Liberty.
Undoubtedly, no two people in the world are the same or hold a detailed profile of traits. The latter still applies to the twins as well. Therefore, being different is not a legitimate excuse for falling victim. Of course, there may be a solution that the subject of discrimination cannot find, given the circumstances, but that does not legitimize that one should turn to the discriminator to bargain for help. Instead of that person, first, one must learn to value self and respect their autonomy and reign. The person must know how society thinks, functions, and acknowledges their diversifying factors and weaknesses. Then works on that weakness while maintaining confidence, individual liberty, and credibility. Because unlike what most people would like to believe, Individual uniqueness, by itself, is diverse- and therefore, so is individual liberty. In other words, freedom is about “individual liberty,” as we can’t expect personal liberty in a one-size-fits-all ensemble.