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There is an old saying, “Divide and conquer,” that doesn’t seem to get the attention that it deserves. The most destructive idea ever is that life can be divided into groups and that allows the harm of any of those other groups based on the idea that we can harm them because they are not us. Pick any social destruction or devastation ever and you will find an “us versus them” theme.

A good rule here is that there will always be a bad guy in our lives; the challenge is to make sure it isn’t us. When we look at another life form and decide we can harm or kill it because it is inferior; we become the bad guy. That is because the central theme of every war, genocide, mass murder or any other social evil and the mantra of every sociopath is, “I can do this because I am superior.”

If we ever hope to live in a peaceful situation, we must quit trying to make our neighbors, human or otherwise, out to be less than us. If I truly were superior, I wouldn’t need to put everyone else down because I would already stand out. If I truly felt superior, I would be more inclined to help others because it would be the only way to increase my feelings of self-worth.

We are all different. That is unquestionable. What is very questionable is whether we have more or less value because of those differences. A genius may be able to decipher the beginnings of the universe while a mentally challenged person may be able to discover how to be happy. Who really has the superior ability?

Love life’s variety folks. If you can’t, you will cheat yourself because it is your greatest chance to resemble God.

Eric Thompson, Bismarck

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