Connecting or Dividing - Reckon for Yourself

There can be a significant and important difference of experience at the grassroots as opposed to what media, politicians and those with agendas want us to believe.


Pronouncements can be made by specific parties to divide, alienate, separate, unify or bond. These can make real impact, true, invalidated or false, on the perceptions and feelings of individuals and groups. The efficiency of social media can amplify the outcomes, whether of benefit or disadvantage to a society's short term or long term interests. 


It was refreshing for me recently to have an opportunity to test reality at the grassroots in one particular nation. One interesting way is to chat with every Uber, private or taxicab driver you come across. These drivers do interact with various individuals who may be silent, talkative or in between in conversation level whilst being their passengers. The opinions of such drivers can provide clearer and more accurate trends happening out there, instead of sifting from skewed and small samples from so called professional survey takers. 


Another opportunity arose in talking with retail workers when making purchases or buying a meal. Do they instinctively smile at you despite the language barrier? Do they try to pull a fast one even if sharing the same culture and language? How is business? How is your day? Do you look forward to quitting time today? Is anyone of a particular background not really fulfilling the stereotyped perceptions and hype emphasised by certain parties with a purpose? 


In a cosmopolitan world, we allow for and try to understand differences, especially in nurturing a diverse nation. What is remarkable is that there can be a quantifiable level of camaraderie in interaction between persons brought up with differences in religion, social experience and access to economic benefits. Politics, power play and competition can accentuate differences but human nature also wants to connect, share and be reasonable.


"You've got to be taught,
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught,
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed,
In your dear little ear,
You've got to be carefully taught!"


That is how Rodgers and Hammerstein articulated racism more than half a century ago to song and dance in the much acclaimed musical "South Pacific". How true do those words still ring true in today's world. Not just in terms of racism, but also in the tensions and dynamics of political shades, religious beliefs and social hierarchies. 


As more societies become increasingly diverse, it is vital for individuals and countries to increasingly think for themselves and not be proverbial lemmings in their hearts following the leads of others who are more vocal, dominant and aggressive. 


Greater mobility, better technology and increased fusion in many aspects of life will pose to each of us to think carefully about the answer to the quintessential question - are we not all human beings?

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