This is more obviously the case when we examine our feelings towards people who are dangerous, break laws, or don’t adhere to societal norms of behavior. On a more subtle level, I see it on the CTA during Chicago’s morning commute, when two people have a loud conversation instead of scrolling through their iPhones. In that moment a humorously clear gulf is created between the quiet majority, and the atypical loud morning conversationalists.
What creates this separation between people? It is born of thoughts and opinions in the mind that are completely bought into. Luckily this can be overcome more easily than it would appear, even in the face of humanity’s long history of alienating others who seem too different to allow.
When you are able to observe these thoughts as they happen, you haven’t immediately identified with them and taken them as truth. When you see thoughts of separation in the mind, that witnessing provides the choice between alienation and inclusion. It provides the opportunity to not accept judgment of others as absolute truth. Before peace becomes more noticeable on a societal level, this small decision will be building its firm foundation.