What do we all have in common? [Opinion]

by Michael M

Recently I was commissioned by an organisation, to create a piece of art in memorial of the many people killed in Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The direction given to me was that the piece is to be as true now as it was back then, without “attacking” those who still favor the weapons responsible. This was my journey…

What do we all have in common?

By “we” I mean everyone. I set out so realise something here that everyone can relate to. Everyone with no exception, from the pacifists to the fascists, from this side of the world to the other, from the affluent to the impoverished, from the goths to the neds, what do we all have in common that makes us human? It’s a question that I have often asked myself and what I often come to is that we all have our values and core beliefs. However these very values and beliefs can also be polarising, by that I am saying that these traits do indeed bring us together, but they can also create a “them and us” culture which is incredibly unhelpful. So let’s dig deeper.

Focusing on the nicer side of our values and core beliefs, what does everyone have in them that makes them human? Academics may claim to know the answer “legally”, but when it comes down to the substance, what do we all share that makes up all of us? It’s a subject that requires a lot of thought, a lot of feeling and a lot of reflection.

The conclusion that I have come to (this time round) is that we all need love.

I am not referring to physical love (though we are all someone’s daughter or son), but a social love.

Many people out there have appalling social skills (I should know, I’m one of them haha), but even the most isolated of us wish to belong in some way. We all have a vision of our perfect world and how it should be, even if that vision is divisive it can also be inclusive – a proverbial two sided coin. We are all the children of two people whose paths have crossed, and we value company, whether we are grateful for our friends and family, or whether we are alone and yearn to be loved.

I was at an event some months ago, where two sides protested one another over of the existence of refugees in their world; the fascists were protesting refugees coming to their country and the activists were protesting bigotry from the fascists and those making people refugees in the first place. But both sides did have some things in common: 1) Both were in a group (one larger than the other). 2) Both called the other group names. 3) Both had visions of how their world should be, based on the truths of their life experience and 4) Both wished to change the world they live in based on their vision.

It’s a difficult, even abstract question, with too many variables. The conclusion I came to here is that we are all inherently a social animal, and that we all aspire.

There is only love, some of us may have lost our way, but it is still there within us, with no exception. Some of us have been hurt so badly that we want to hurt others, be it out of spite, or before others can get a chance to hurt us. Some of us are even so lonely that they want to hurt, so that they may be accepted by groups giving out the hurt (bullies), just to end their own isolation…

It’s you. It’s me. It’s our hopes and it’s our ambition. There’s no place for the insanities of war or the cruelty of misinterpreting the lives of others.

“Blue skies and echoes of peace will prevail” the notion that love is in every living thing.

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