Monday, July 15, 2024

Let’s Meet In Differences



We all come into the world with some differences. Social and cultural differences are added to our genetic differences. Therefore, in the life we ​​live, our individual and collective identities are formed. Right here, we can explain the definition of “other” as “that which is outside of me or all the concepts that makeup us, the opposite, the different”. Although the word “other” sounds bad, we cannot say that this concept is a very bad, negative, terrible adjective and formation. Because it is the way to know ourselves, to realize ourselves, to find our positive and negative sides, to realize our responsibilities, to evaluate ourselves; It’s about getting to know the other. What makes the other bad is the situation of being marginalized. Othering; Taking part in a formation due to ideological, religious, legal, political, sexual preference, genetic, immigration problems, stigmatizing economically, etc. for reasons such as communicating in society according to this table. Although our differences are as normal as black and white, stigmatizing others is a social problem that we have been living in the world for centuries. This psychology of imposition, which we can count as a kind of forced pressure and mobbing, complicates our lives in every structure of society. So, how can it be easier to live with this concept?

Life never comes easily to our lives, then it would have no taste. Each of us is a small part of society and a member of a class. Sometimes there is a separation between the classes we are in and the classes we are not in. Thus, there are situations where there is no healthy communication and sometimes there is a communication breakdown. This is because DISCRIMINATION takes the place of UNDERSTANDING. Also, unfortunately, over time, LOVE takes the place of IGNORANCE. There are examples of this in all societies around the world, and even hundreds of years of exclusion and stigma have been experienced and are still being experienced.

I would like to explain more clearly with a few examples. For example, I can talk about the immigration problem that is being experienced all over the world. Population distribution from one country to another or from one rural area to another urban settlement within the country causes social differentiation. This change in the population structure; The new living space created by the masses with different income levels causes differentiation in the context of entertainment and the workplace. In big cities, campuses with different dynamics are formed. These segments are sometimes referred to as suburbs and are generally marginalized. For these groups of different ethnic origins, social marginalization is actively experienced.

I can cite race as another example. Race in sociological terms; is the grouping of people according to physical and social characteristics that are generally viewed as different by society. The term was used primarily to describe those who spoke a common language and then people of a particular nationality. Almost since the beginning of human history, certain classifications have been made under the name of ‘race’, and sometimes ‘othering’ has continued to exist under all circumstances, as persecution, sometimes vaguely. In particular, classifications arising from biological differences have witnessed behaviors that disregard human dignity throughout history. Cultural differences, as well as genetic differences, have seen the same patterns of behavior. Although it seems like religion, religious beliefs, and the integrative structure of religion, will help humanity the most and prevent discrimination here; In world history, it has been seen throughout history that those who do not believe in the same religion are marginalized.

In short, the subjects are changing, but the other and othering are seen in thousands of years of human history. Because the entity we call HUMAN has its though, beliefs, cultural structure, family, nation, preferences, etc. They do not like that they are not accepted, not believed, disliked, or rejected. People attribute negative meanings to all kinds of differences they have and perceive these differences as a threat in daily life. Therefore, with othering, the processes of negative perception and devaluation of those other than “me” and “us” begin.

It is inevitable to ignore the values ​​of the other, to criticize excessively, to push the limits of compensation, to cause the individual to feel worthless, and to experience discrimination in society. However, it is a weak attitude and not healthy for people to give up all their values ​​at once and adopt the mindset of others with this compelling psychology. But living with the concept of “othering” is also an issue that suffocates us as human beings, because it limits our freedom. Being constrained is something that devalues ​​us.

If we express that since the beginning of my article, othering has been experienced in many subjects throughout the history of the world for centuries, and in fact, it causes psychological harm based on the person first, and that people damage the ‘family’ structure, which is the smallest part of the society, and that it is the families that make up the society;

First of all, our psychology is important. It is very important for the psychology and health of society that we feel valued, happy, and free.

First, we will be GOOD INDIVIDUALLY, we will be happy.

We will act respectfully and consistently in society.

We will not be chased away by your crushing behavior; we will proceed with LOVE and RESPECT.

The individual learns the prejudice against the other from the family. We must have the right parental attitudes so that the child we raise has a healthy psychology in society.

In today’s world, with the development of technology, it is very common to experience othering through the media and its tools. Moreover, due to the lack of face-to-face communication, people can send uninterrupted, more hurtful, and judgmental messages over their ideology. This is a kind of media bullying and it harms our humanity. In our personal media tool that belongs to us, we need to pass our posts through emotional as well as mental filters. Approaching with common sense and empathy would be the right attitude.

We will change our perspective in multicultural and diverse societies; We will focus on cultural richness.

We will learn to trust and trust again. This will make our society more peaceful.

As a result, it is necessary to be human to live without marginalizing and respecting both your ideology and the other party. “BEING HUMAN” on the other hand requires trust, humility, love, wants to be respected… It expects you to do these with conscience, it wants to see sincerity… Honesty is a must, honesty is essential for ‘being human’… You see evil, YOU ARE ONE OF THE PREFERENCES AND STARTING GOODNESS. Maybe the world will start to get better under your wings…

With love…


sociologist, teacher, writer, NLP expert, and speaker.

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