For more than two million years, our human ancestors lived in small groups that they considered their own. They created a demarcation of us vs them, as people cared and cooperated with people in their own tribe while fearing and aggressing people outside their band.
This ancient divide is now amplified, and larger groups of 'us' are now in constant conflict with the other groups of 'them', partly due to the advent of technology in the past hundred years.
The mind is creating 'thems' all around us, with people putting other people in the 'in-group' or the 'out-group' all the time. This can be easily observed in office politics, as well as family discords.
People casually dismiss other people, ignore, discount, or attack them, reducing 'them' to a two-dimensional figure which they can use and throw at will, to further their own position, status, and identity.
We need to stop creating mental divides and see the people around us as our common humanity.
The way to recognize that we are 'them-ing' other people is to catch those subtle moments when we lose empathy, we use stereotypes, we discriminate, cast out or punish anyone.
Imagine a circle that has you and the ones you like, and gradually it is widening and is now including people whom you are neutral about, and then the people whom you don't like, and even your adversaries.
This expansion of 'us' softens us, releases tension and widens our perspective. Let us grow our circles far and wide and live together in peace!
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