“Hath Not A Jew’s Eyes?”

Written February 12, 2014(edited 2017)

“Under our skin we are all the Same, red blood and white bones. Our skins are what separates us by race, by color. It is the different colors of the Rainbow that make it Beautiful. It is in our differences that we as a species, as a Tribe, are Beautiful. If we were all the same, with no diversity what a boring place this would be. Celebrate Our Diversity. Embrace Our One-ness.” ~Doug

Something to ponder…

I do apologize for the length, however, peace comes from understanding all sides of the situation.

Today’s Reflection couldn’t come at a better time. The world, not just lil old America, as we know it, has been flipped on its head. There are people killing other people over the color of their skin or who their Higher Power is. Every time I’ve read this Reflection I am reminded of some literature I read back in high school(former high school teachers – yes I do remember reading this). It is from Act 3, Scene 1 and said by the character Shylock in Shakespeare’s play called “The Merchant Of Venice”(excerpt below). This has been very popular for centuries. Biologically speaking, we are all the same underneath our skins. What separates us all is preconceived thoughts and feelings that are as old as time and they’re usually passed down thru the generations. I truly think this is something we all forget. Since I’m more familiar with America’s issues I’m going to write about that.

Discrimination in America began when Europeans first came here for the Freedoms of Speech, Religion and so on. They tried to “tame the savages “ by making believe in the God that they believed in. Then African-Americans were discriminated for a very long time even after they were freed from slavery and then when desegregation laws were passed. It continued even after Martin Luther King died and the Million Man March in Washington. Heck, in my lil corner of the world the Swedish and Italian nationalities discriminated against each other in my parents day. Mexicans and Asians haven’t spared this ugly side of humanity either. Let’s also not forget different religions hating and discriminated other religions. Throughout history you will find times when someone(s) was discriminated by someone(s) else.

I’m sure most of you know that discrimination is action based on prejudice or racist beliefs that results in unfair treatment of individuals or groups. This leads to unjust conditions in areas such as employment, housing and education. But why do we discriminate against others? I stumbled on an article about this not long ago and the reasons are:

Insecurity – Subconsciously, we may be insecure and feel a need to tear others down as a way of raising ourselves up. We are all vulnerable to feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy

Ignorance – Let’s look at reasons why we should not discriminate. They included the fact that we are created in the image of our Higher Power, that our Higher Power views us as equal in His eyes, that we should “do unto others as we would have others do unto us,” and that our Higher Power created diversity throughout His creation, and He intends us to experience unity in the midst of diversity. If we don’t know these things, were never taught these things, or were taught the opposite, we may be more vulnerable to the temptations brought on by insecurity.

Weakness – We may have grown up in a culture of discrimination. Our family, our school, our town/city may have had discrimination as a value, and though we may have known or sensed that it was wrong, we did not have the personal strength to stand against it. Peer pressure is a powerful thing.

Pride – We may find some who are different from us genuinely off-putting, and out of a sense of superiority, we look down on them.

Today we have reverse discrimination, violent protesting, safe rooms, freedom of one person’s speech blocked by another’s Freedom of Speech and Political Correctness run amok. Another one that’s been around for awhile but is VERY evident now is political party discrimination. If you’re are from one political party and go out to eat a nice meal in another political party’s restaurant you are mocked and bullied. It makes no difference what party you align yourself with, the same thing happens. Good grief best friend of 25 years has jokingly told me that if her and I grew up in our ancestral homeland of Ireland we wouldn’t be friends. Besides the political party differences we grew up in 2 different religions. She and I choose to agree to disagree on many topics. Besides, she was a champion debater in her college days and I’m very stubborn so we agree to avoid certain topics like politics.

If you and I were to sit back, look at what’s going on and calmly discuss it we would see how almost every instance of this stuff could be described with one word – fear. The acronym for FEAR – F***(or Forget) Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Recover and also False Evidence Appearing to be Real. In the end tho there’s just 1 question, how will we achieve peace in our own communities let alone World Peace if you’re retaliating for something someone did to you. I get revenge on you because you stole my bike. You get revenge on me, then I get it again on you and so on until everyone gets got and nobody actually wins. Let’s break this vicious circle of violence. I can’t do it alone but together we can.

From “The Merchant of Venice”, by Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 1, Shylock’s monologue

“I’ll use it for fish bait. You can’t eat human flesh, but if it feeds nothing else, it’ll feed my revenge. He’s insulted me and cost me half a million ducats. He’s laughed at my losses, made fun of my earnings, humiliated my race, thwarted my deals, turned my friends against me, riled up my enemies—and why? Because I’m a Jew. Doesn’t a Jew have eyes? Doesn’t a Jew have hands, bodily organs, a human shape, five senses, feelings, and passions? Doesn’t a Jew eat the same food, get hurt with the same weapons, get sick with the same diseases, get healed by the same medicine, and warm up in summer and cool off in winter just like a Christian? If you prick us with a pin, don’t we bleed? If you tickle us, don’t we laugh? If you poison us, don’t we die? And if you treat us badly, won’t we try to get revenge? If we’re like you in everything else, we’ll resemble you in that respect. If a Jew offends a Christian, what’s the Christian’s kind and gentle reaction? Revenge. If a Christian offends a Jew, what punishment will he come up with if he follows the Christian example? Of course, the same thing—revenge! I’ll treat you as badly as you Christians taught me to—and you’ll be lucky if I don’t outdo my teachers.”

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