Eliminating discrimination, building solidarity, valuing a human person rightly – these are just some ways of achieving authentic and holistic progress for the world. In order to build our world for the better, we have to learn and focus on solidarity and be proud of our diversity. I believe in the saying by Mahatma Gandhi “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization”.
Let’s think about one of the smallest creatures of the earth- the ‘Ant’. If we look at the lifestyle of ants, we can pick up significant lessons from this insignificant creature. Ants work in groups and achieve their goal in unity. They move unitedly until they fulfill their desire. They gather their food; Build their house together. Because of their togetherness, they never give up and never stop attempting even if they fail, where winning is their ultimate result. Because of their unity we cannot see any selfish motivation in their character. But unfortunately, we, humans, in spite of being the best creation of the world, don’t practice solidarity in us which is the result of various forms of discrimination- which is the unequal treatment based on socio economic status, gender, religion, country, color where we are ultimately violating the inherent dignity of the human person, the basis of free, just and authentic developed world.
I have some queries but the answers are really painful yet truthful realities. The queries are – Have we stopped judging people on the basis of their wealth and their socio economic status? Have we stopped creating difference between boys and girls in a family, regarding their education and even workplace? In a single word, have we stopped judging or treating people as an object? I myself have seen such families where a person of a needy family is not treated as a human as if he is of no worth because of their working status. I have also seen not practicing equal rights between a boy and a girl. And also there are so many incidents which are destroying the worth of a human person and flowing a wave of gloom and darkness.
Let’s try to change and flow from a wave of serenity. Of course, it’s possible. Let’s try to see everything in a new horizon together. Let’s try to be optimistic so that pessimism and discrimination can be buried from every society.
Every human person has intrinsic dignity which is independent of any individual condition and no human community can grant or rescind that dignity. From the Certified Training Program of World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific, I learned about ‘I-Thou’ by Martin Buber. It is such a relationship where I sees the You as another subject and I relates with the You. Buber said I cannot exist without a You. The individual is rooted in relation with other beings. When two or more people see each other as subjects (You), we experience mutual subjectivity which is the ultimate result of Solidarity – creating a global family arising a universal sense of responsibility. If we can cherish this concept and practice it in our practical life, any form of discrimination will not exist anymore.
People are naturally born different with infinite potential, have different background of lives, different skills and capabilities- these diversities should lead people to be more open and understanding and learn to cooperate others arising mutual understanding between every human person irrespective of having diversity. To establishing authentic developing and peaceful world we should collect opinion from others getting united in single platform by eliminating discrimination and having belief that solidarity is strength.
Finally, I think that discrimination can never be the route to achieve authentic development in the world. Eliminating discrimination and valuing a person as a human in whatever situation are key tools and insights for authentic development.
Published: March 15, 2021
This piece is written by Mayisha Afrin, a current Program Development Intern for World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific.
Find out more about our WYAAP Internship Program at bit.ly/wyaaponlineinternship