13 February 2018
We’ve plucked young souls into miters, plundered homes in thirst, slaughtered sacred hides to feed billions. But we also know that at the heart of every one of us are the same desires—to be happy, to be loved, to be accepted.
These desires are what make us human.
And being human is what unites us.
The woman continued to follow us all the way to the car—quietly, adamantly pleading. Even as we loaded into the vehicle, she didn’t turn away, persistent as ever in hopes of wielding as much as a coin to add to the fraying hundred rupees I had given her.
We’ve pecked at each other’s differences in the face of conflict, as it is convenient. The contours of our bodies, pigments of our flesh, insignias hanging from our necks, rags shouldered over the sheer humanity that lies within—
We’ve stitched etiquette around it all.
My blood boiled as my mother turned to address the driver. “Even when you give them something, they’re not satisfied. So then, what are you to do?”
“Just ignore them.” The driver flicked the key, and the faded miniature Lakshmi swung violently from the rearview. “It’s all you can do.”
To put it bluntly—politicians, priests, dictators, no matter how benign, will feign tolerance for every appearance, symbol, and number that divides us. But tolerance is temporary. Living in harmony amongst tear-spawning rags and tempered ideologies requires all citizens to examine what really matters.
Requires every soul, every lick of truth, to unfold into the light.