US VS THEM

Commentary

We often look at the world in terms of “us versus them”. “Us” are the “we” and we are generally the good guys, the underdogs the working man, the struggling family, lower-class, middle-class, working-class, the 99%, the man on the street and just your ordinary, everyday, average Joe. And they… well, they are the BIG corporations, the governments, the bureaucrats, the police, the military industrial complex, fat cats, big wigs, head honchos, the Illuminati, world leaders, oligarchs and basically anyone who is perceived as having great wealth, power and control and/or to be feared and hated. But what if we took another, much simpler approach to our perception that “we” are up against “them”. What if there was actually, no them?

In fact, if we deconstruct even the structure of our sentence we can see a simple truth. Who are us really? We are people. Who are they really? They are also people.  We are all just people at the end of the day. People with mothers and fathers and families who care about us and for whom we care. We have aches and pains and fears and concerns. We struggle and succeed, hope and care. We suffer from stress and anxiety and look forward and remember fondly. We were all once little children; newborn babies and three-year olds speaking our first words and trying to relate to our new world with pure innocence. Some of us had it easy, others had it extremely difficult and some suffered beyond our imagination. But we are all people.

If we give a person or persons the face of a building or a logo or a flag; if we strip a person or persons of their name and then generalize him or her by calling them “the terrorists” or “the media” then we blur our own vision of the truth. There are always only people behind every action, every word, thought or deed. And we need to remain vigilantly aware of that fact because if we don’t then we run the risk of dehumanizing each other. Dehumanizing takes the responsibility for all the problems and crisis we see before us today away from us and puts it on them. Well, there is no them. There is only us, people.

Taking to the streets in protest, demanding at the steps of some building, blowing up a shopping mall, invading another country, building a wall, rioting in your own city, shooting each other, etc. etc. etc. are all the result of misplaced anger. And these are all avoidable situations if we understand exactly who is responsible. Again, “they” are not to blame because there is no they. There is only us, people, and we are all responsible for each other.

We need to feel this responsibility and embrace it. We need to think of every perpetrator of a “crime” (terrorist, murderer, thief) as also being victim. We are all victims, victims of our system. We are in control of our own system, not them. We are all people and we, when combined, make up all of humanity and when we choose to live together then we have communities and society and we all have a shared stake and equal claim in that society. In our shared society, the development of that newborn baby, that child, is also the shared responsibility of everyone. We must care for and nurture our children, develop them into human beings and give them every opportunity to grow healthy both mentally and physically so that they can become active, contributing members of that shared society.

This is the future of man. A future where the care, concern and development of each member of society is of paramount importance to all the other members of that society. Where we can put our competitive nature and egoistic desires to receive everything for ourselves alone; put it all aside and place importance on the whole of mankind above our own individual importance. Only then will we see that there is no “us versus them”, there is only “us versus us” and this corrupted outlook is the true cause of all our problems.

About Todd Kramer 1 Article
Todd Kramer is a London, UK based American actor, teacher, writer and director living and working in Europe for nearly 20 years. He is one of the developers of the "Yield Method" - a comprehensive connection method for all of humanity. Todd holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Find out more about Todd at www.toddkramer.com

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