Us and them

I have frequent stomachaches. I’m often in the bathroom. So almost every day, I run into the custodian who is refilling the paper towels or tidying up the sink. And each time I can’t help but wonder, “What is so different about me and you that you have to clean up my mess?” When he walks through the office, no one really takes notice, which is quite different from when someone of more status walks by. It’s really no different than any other place, I guess.

At the end of the day, when I drive to the comforts of my home, I occasionally see him zooming out of the parking lot along side me. I’m guessing he’s driving toward that same sensation. We all go home at the end of the day.

Hierarchy exists in even bees. There are queens, workers, drones, etc., and we always talk about how important each type of bee is to the survival of a colony. Sometimes we even use it as a metaphor for us. Except there’s one factor that we can’t fully seem to understand — a factor Republicans and Democrats, husbands and wives, us and them, can’t quite seem to talk about on the same wave length: dignity. Maybe that’s because we all require different things to retain our dignity. Or maybe it’s because the concept of dignity also requires us to define what humans are — what we need. Abraham Maslow tried to define these things, but it’s only a starting point to talk about what we are.

Sure, it’s a rabbit hole. But at least we’re going down it together. And in that tunnel, there is no hierarchy or title other than “human.”

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