We are born into this world with innocence. Racism, sexism, and hate do not exist. As we mature, we develope our concept of fairness and justice in the world and ourselves in it. This self identity isn't singular from a focal point event, but a combination of all our experiences and all of our social interactions. We try to learn the beliefs of others and incorporate this into our own ideology. Those we feel most deeply connected to are the primary influences of our lives. Those that stand against us, our antagonists, set up borders and barriers that keep those values in check.
Mankind is essentially good. We are definitively products of our upbringing and society. Although there are some instinctive qualities, our awareness of our own mortality is what sets us apart from other animals. We have the ability to change our viewpoints and adapt. We can develope our own habits and routines, both good and bad.
One thing astounds me though. It is how we view our self worth by comparing ourselves with others. It is an unfair comparison because we have not walked in one another's shoes. We hold onto our ideologies of justice and what is right.
I've noticed a growing trend besides the mentality of "keeping up with the Jonses" that points to another ailment that irrationally steals away our happiness: Better than You.
On the surface, when we point out all the faults and flaws of those that have a polar opposition to our viewpoints, it helps reaffirm to ourselves a moral superiority, but this is not a true inner reflection of our own experience. We are simply falsely accepting our own pride and prejudices in the contrast to what we behold with disdain. This blocks our ability to see our own merits and our own failings to be better than we were yesterday.
It becomes a lazy man's path to self righteousness. And if we are not careful, this could led us towards a path of self corruption to where we become unrecognizable to ourselves as time passes. It's a gradual change that isn't immediately apparent. And once we have disdain for ourselves, it opens the door to self destruction where we begin to punish ourselves out of our own loathing against what we have become.
So before taking the moral high ground, and saying to yourself that I'm not as bad as that guy or gal, or even saying my group is better than that other group, ask yourself why is it important to you how your neighbor lives? Because if it does matter, then you don't really know yourself and your blindness blocks you from living to your fullest potential.