As a species, we do enjoy categorising.
Everything from various types of bread, to the thousands of animals that roam the earth, are identified, listed and then placed in neat, uncomplicated categories. However, I believe, doing the same categorisation exercise with humans, is a wholly different matter.
The problem categorising others is that we don’t do it in a scientific way. We separate, sift and judge in a way in which focuses on comparisons.
For some, it is an unconscious activity (habit), while for others, there is real intent in what they do. Comparisons, by their very essence, create various degrees of separation, exclusivity and the idea of ‘them’ and ‘us’.
The idea that one person, has more value than another is, of course, a problem that societies, business and governments have struggled with for millennia. But individually, we do not have to engage in such high-minded quandaries, where one ideological faction contends with another.
At a deeper personal level, we can make informed choices based on our humanity and our values. We can make decisions, that do not conform to what is considered the norm and that reject subjective judgements. We can embrace fully, perceptions and beliefs that accept that:
- There is no perfect weight.
- There is no ideal body shape.
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
- That not everyone wants to go to University.
- There is not one accepted form of sexuality or identity.
- Your children, family, neighbourhood, education, way of life is better than another.
- There is one perfect and true religion.
And so, the list could continue.
In Don Quixote, the author uses a phrase in Part 2 of his novel, “Comparisons are odious.” Miguel de Cervantes, the author, had a point because during his military career, he was captured and used as a slave for five years. The identity of a slave was different from the identity of a soldier – and yet; he was the same man.
His comparative view of slaves, after fully appreciating the life of a slave – changed understandably.
What I would recommend is that you do not become a slave to comparisons. Shun stereotyping, value your uniqueness and allow others to live in their lane, as they see fit. The truth, you see, is that you are wonderfully unique and so is everyone else. Consequently, what’s the point of comparing – you’ll never achieve sameness and why would you want to?