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What is This Need We Have for ‘Us’ and ‘Them’?

girls-1031538_960_720Have you ever stopped to notice all of the ways we isolate and separate?  We separate ourselves by gender, race, income level, neighborhood, education, political affiliation, religion, medicine, hobbies, careers, interests, music, relationship status, sexual preference and more.  Anywhere we share a common bond or interest, those who do not are outsiders.  We have many, many examples of ‘us’ and ‘them’ in our lives.  In each, we connect with others like us to share our opinions and feelings, and soon find ourselves talking about the rest of the world as separate and outside of us. Before we know it, ‘they’ seem a threat to ‘us’, to our shared bond, and we believe ‘they’ don’t understand ‘us’.  Group-think takes over until we are convinced ‘we’ are right and ‘they’ are wrong just because we feel differently.  It’s fascinating, even to observe myself and where I have done and still do this in my own life.

boy-529067_960_720As infants, we hear examples of this in our families, in stories, and through the media in our homes.  It enters our reality, often painfully, as we emerge into our neighborhoods and schools to quickly learn how we are different.  In self defense, we find others with whom we can feel a sense of ‘us’ instead of always being a ‘them’.  And so it continues throughout life, escalating into conflicts and wars in our homes, in our communities, and across the world.

Isn’t it ironic when we can’t see the hundreds of shared traits and interests we have as humans living on this earth from that ‘us’/’them’ perspective?  Even more interesting, five minutes or fifty years later we will shift from being in separate groups to being together in some other ‘us’/’them’ paradigm with ‘them’ looking in. Or are we on the outside looking in at them?

The truth is…we are all in this together!  Black and white, right and wrong, us and them…duality has served us in many ways to learn and grow and discover the 95% grey area that lies between every black or white extreme.  Are we done with it yet?  Are we ready to share the human experience with appreciation and compassion for the very differences and diversities that make life so rich?

(I’m tempted to ask who’s with me, but then I would just be creating a new ‘us’ inclusion ‘them’ exclusion, wouldn’t I? Sigh.)

SherylSittsMINIHeadshotMay2017Namaste and so much love,

Sheryl Sitts, MPA, BA, Personal & Entrepreneurial Coach & Holistic Practitioner

Founder, Journey of Possibilities ~ Live Events, Weekly Podcasts and Quarterly Digital Magazine

Sheryl’s Blog


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