Thoughts After Midnight

     I’m sitting here, listening to Harry Chapin. Just in that kinda mood. Harry always gets me to thinking, wading through the memories, experiences, joys and pains that have gotten me to this place at this moment. Time for some conclusions, albeit temporary conclusions, as the journey still continues.

    All of us have the right to claim the commonality of humanity. We are all the same. The differences that we perceive are our projections onto ourselves and others, limiting our actions, constraining us even as we proclaim our freedoms. Inclusion only strengthens us, diversity diminishes us.

     That is not to say we go running willy-nilly down the primrose path, acknowledging every idea proposed. Some ideas are bad. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. These are the ones that are divisive, pulls us apart, segregates us and pits “us” against “them”. So, religion. Yeah, you know where this was headed. The number one spot in our countdown.

     I’m not here to proclaim that if we suddenly got rid of religion tomorrow, everything would improve immediately. I’m not that naive. But it is the single most divisive institution we have to contend with. Even within the same “community”’, i.e. Christianity, if you don’t believe what a certain sect believes in, even though you are “Christian”, you are wrong, and will burn in hell. Talk about divisive.

     My contention has been for some time that religion grew as a means to explain what was happening around us, therefore a bastardized form of non-critical skepticism. Skeptical of any explanation given except what you were taught by your own culture. Your explanation was right, everyone else wrong.  Actually, that is the classical definition of atheism. So, everyone is an atheist of one stripe or another.

     Religion, in one form or another, has probably been with us from the beginning. Sky spirits, animal spirits, plant spirits, water spirits, you name it. And probably not considered benign. Even today, we knock on wood, cross our heart, turn in a circle, throw salt, etc. Interestingly, these all have roots in warding off or gaining the attention of spirits. People still do them, even though we know it’s a little silly. Just an interesting aside.

     So, religion has evolved right along with us. Has it helped us? Sometimes it probably has. However, it has caused much more harm than good. I’m not trying to get into specifics too deeply, as that is an entirely different post. These are just some conclusions I have come to, from reading others, and thinking on my own, processing and piecing together.

     Number two. Anti-woman. Even without religion, a lot of men think they’re better simply because they’re men. Well, let’s look at that.

    I am a man. XY chromosomes. A female, XX chromosomes. That makes me half female. Why, how dare I say that! I can hear the indignation from here. Look, the default condition for the human race is female. We are all (mostly, as there are transgendered people, with varying chromosomal differences, and I'm not talking about gender identification) XX or XY. The female has both XX, the male has one X. We are, with a few secondary characteristics as the exception, the same. Men are generally larger, stronger, and physically able to endure longer. And I say generally with a very large caveat, because females are just as capable of the same feats of strength and endurance as men.  

     People like to talk about emotions a lot when it comes to male/female, but I think it’s hogwash. The culture you grow up in tends to play a much greater role, I think, on your emotional responses than your gender. We are all capable of the full range of emotions that every other human has, male or female. I don’t rightly know how we got the gender role assignments that society has placed upon us, but I think it’s mostly bullshit. More study on this one, for sure.

     I have more, but as this is getting long, will just say thanks for reading if so inclined. These are just some of my thought on things, my opinions. Subject to revision as needed, as the journey is ongoing. Be well, my friends. Peace to you and yours.


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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 5, 2012 at 10:28pm

I think there is some emotional difference by gender. In one study they put a pull toy tin babies cribs, which worked fine for a day and suddenly stopped working. The girl babies tried for awhile after it "broke" and then lost interest. The boy babies kept pulling harder and harder and harder.

Comment by Tony Carroll on September 5, 2012 at 10:05pm

Hey Steph. Thanks for reading. My third part is as follows.


     Racism. This is number three on my list of most divisive. Some people think they are better simply because their skin is a different color. As my Mom used to say, “That doesn’t come to a hill of beans in China”. Yeah, I know. But you get the drift. She definitely had her Yogi Berra moments.

     Within the scientific community, race is a misnomer, not even used, as we are all one race. Homo sapiens. Usses. We-uns. One. Uno. Eine. Un. The only extant species of Homo currently alive on the face of the planet. Period. The same species.  Color of skin, eyes, hair etc. are just genetic drift, if you will. Various localized evolutionary traits that were/are advantageous for the organism where it lived. And since we are the only animal that literally lives on every continent, we adapted superficially to better survive within that locale.

     Race, as is used by the non-scientist, is a burden we place upon ourselves. And it is wrong.  Just as wrong as religion and anti-feminism. Again, this bears repeating. We are the same. I know this because we can breed (sorry if that sounds crass) with any human anywhere on the planet, any country, region, continent, wherever and produce viable offspring. Viable simply means our offspring can in turn produce viable offspring, and so on, right down the line.

     So when you judge someone, call them names, denigrate them, dismiss them, put them down in anyway just because of their color, you are doing the same to yourself and your loved ones. To denigrate one is to denigrate all.

     Well, gonna close out for now. As Bill and Ted would say, be excellent to one another. Remember, a smile, a touch, a hug given to another will overcome a lot of the negativity in the world. And bring a sense of peace not only to them, but to you as well.

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