Saturday 10 January 2015

Ignorance is the Enemy

I was watching an episode of the series Dracula from 2013, the one with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the lead and in the opening scene from what I could understand he'd just recently been turned into a vampire and naturally the villagers or members of society were terrified and trying to destroy him.

In the episode before this he was talking to his lawyer, Renfield, whilst sitting outside his love interest's home just casually watching her in a stalkerish way, whatever. Renfield suggested he either forget her or take her for his own. He responded saying to take her and turn her into what he was would be an abomination and he wouldn't do it, but to forget her would destroy him.

Most of the series is based around him trying to find a cure for vampirism. He knows he is an abomination, he didn't choose to be one, but he was and was just trying to live the best kind of life he possibly could.

People were attacking him because they didn't understand what he was. Granted anyone or thing that is found to be harming other beings should be stopped, that's completely logical, but when people destroy others because they're scared and don't know any better, I really think that's wrong.

I was watching the Life of Pi a few years back and vividly recall the scene where they've captured a lion or something and have it hostage without food until they tie up a live goat inside the cage. The father tells to young boy that the lion is a vicious creature that must be stopped and tells him to watch what the lion does to the innocent goat. As per animal instincts and out of pure hunger, the lion devours the goat and this is seen to teach the young boy that it is evil for having done so. 

When you take the example away from the context of it being an 'evil' act, you realize that it is just nature doing its thing in a rather gory way. The same can be said for various acts in the human world. 

We hate and fear because it's what we are taught and we believe those who teach us because they use an authoritative tone and instill fear in us if we don't believe them, also because we just naturally believe those who are older, they've lived more of a life than we have so it's safe to assume that they know what they're talking about.

I was taught many different things, most of which seemed to conflict when juxtaposed and left me feeling confused. I told my dad just recently that if you need a book to tell you when something is wrong or right, that's clearly an issue in itself. 

I was lead to believe that we should love everyone without reason or reservation as Jesus did, yet the people who were teaching this somehow found ways to get around the 'everyone' part and so I saw discrimination and pure hypocrisy which was justifiable by the people doing it.

Under the commandment of loving your neighbour as yourself, so many people seemed to have added an asterisk followed by a note saying 'except for the following people...' that never seemed right.

I've always found a sense of comfort or familiarity by going out and befriending people from different walks of life and different backgrounds, even though I could feel the judgement from the people who preached the same but rarely, if ever, practiced it.

I quite enjoy having friends from different backgrounds and experience levels, they all bring something unique to the friendship table in my life. 

My mother, a taught homophobe, would recite parts of the bible as if they would explain why we shouldn't do something or associate with certain types of people, yet that never seemed like a good enough reason to stay away from them. I could tell and still can, that most of the prejudices she has are things she was taught from a young age and are reinforced at church. Whenever we'd watch and episode of Ellen, one minute she'd be laughing hysterically, the next she'd change the channel saying that Ellen was gay so we shouldn't be watching it. It never made any sense so I'd tell her I was more than happy to watch and if she didn't like it she could find something else to do until it was over. Most times she stuck around to watch the rest of the show and enjoyed it thoroughly.

It's still amazing, in the bad way, how much ignorance and stubbornness is out there. People are taught to hate, to fight, to behave a certain way and never question why even if it doesn't seem right. 

Prior to watching The Water Diviner with my dad last week, we had a discussion about the war and what I knew about it. I told him I'd never been interested in war and honestly didn't see the point of it. Wasn't it just a large scale playground battle?! Young kids get into fights over someone stealing their place on the playground, they get pulled apart and given a time out. Grown adults, sometimes not even that, go to fight for their place and country and are given millions of dollars to do so. Surely the better and less bloodthirsty way would be to teach people negotiation skills or how to come to civil partnership agreements much like conflict resolution in schools..?!

My biggest advice to humankind is to have an open mind. If something seems off, or you're wondering why things are happening that don't make sense, seek answers, learn who your supposed 'enemy' is, you might just find that the only enemy there is, is not knowing. 

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