So Why Is It We Can't Just All Get Along?

The facts are in, folks, and they say we are all one species. All come from one starting point [south east Africa]… very likely all come from the same first mother [a woman of color in that region]…all come from the same DNA.

If true, why can’t we all just get along? Why have we been misunderstanding and warring with one another from the geological get-go? Answers come from various disciplines: biology, psychology, geography, economics, religion. As it turns out, none of the answers has really eradicated the problem. Humanity is still at war with itself millions of anthropological years later.

Maybe a conundrum this universal in size needs to be broken down into its simplest elements before it makes any sense. One way is available every morning you and I travel to work. Travel alongside fellow Chicagoans who on closer examination are not all that fellow-ish. Neither racially, financially, educationally, politically or spiritually. Each of these distinctions alone is enough to make the point that, yes we are all the same, but no, not in the same way.

Here, however, is one of the distinctions that doesn’t always get a lot of academic attention. For lack of a better name, we can call it the Attitudinal Distinction. In today’s society there are the attitudes of at least three very distinct groupings: Office worker, field worker, power worker. The first refers to all those professionals who tend to work inside office spaces like lawyers, bankers, teachers, doctors, nurses, etc….the second refers to all those craft workers who operate mostly in the fields of their activity like farmers, engineers, construction, roadways, forestry, etc….the third refers to all those who deploy power to get their work done like athletes, military, police, FBI, CIA, etc.

My point? Put the three groups in the same room and chances are their deep-rooted attitudinal distinctions will make conversation among them a little strained. They each operate by a very distinct set of values, experiences and priorities. If then our very attitudes can make it difficult to relate to one another, how much more so when we are trying to do it at a community/national/international level?

How does humanity try again…? Probably not until we can finally, finally realize we are all paddling in this same cramped planetary life raft where our sameness is far greater than any of our distinctions.

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