This topic has been brewing for a while so I decided to just drop it into the internet to see if anyone else relates.
For a moment I want to mention something that is extremely popular, especially in the Western hemisphere. Shopping, or retail therapy. However you wish to label it, it is rife. Within the shops there is an abundance of choice, be it clothing, mobile phone handsets, decor or groceries. There is a myriad of choices because we are all different and have varying opinions about how we want to look, eat and surround ourselves. Nobody seems to have any problem with this.
Why is it then, that when if comes to what we think and what we believe there are so many people that are horrified that others can't agree with them.
Could you imagine if every person in your village, town, city or State all wore green (for example) it would be dreadful. Not only that it would be very boring to look at but people would feel restricted and even, in some cases controlled.
Of course there are times when people do dress the same, to unite them. School Uniforms, sports teams, the Scout and Guide movements (although these days there is a variety of choices in their uniforms - back when I was a girl within a unit they were identical except for some badges). In these cases the uniformity is welcome and it is removed by the wearer when returning to their individual free time.
Imagine if we had to eat the same food every day, all day long. That doesn't even happen in prisons. Even for those with the viewpoint that food is nothing more than fuel, they would not be prepared to eat the same food every day year in year out. If they did there would be a high chance their health would suffer, unless their daily diet was specially created by a nutritionist.
You get my point
So given those very, in your face, obvious thoughts. Why and how is it that we have reached a point that so many people, especially those on the internet, are so unaccepting of differing view points.
The basics of how we live lead to differences. Different hemispheres and geology lead to different temperatures and humidity. This effects how we dress and what we eat. It also impacts the colour of our skin. It is no accident that a native of Ireland may have porcelain white skin and red hair, meanwhile an Italian may have olive skin tone and dark brown hair. Although "politically" they would both be called white.
When you look at an event organised by The Commonwealth (especially one where they wear cultural dress) you will see all the colours of the rainbow, not to mention a vast range of skin tones. There are 56 countries who are members. They share 16 core values and Principles which unite them, but that does not mean every country shares identical laws, cultural heritage or beliefs. They find enough common ground that they agree upon and choose to be members together to work upon those shared values and principles.
The beauty of multiculturalism when it works well is that we all learn more about ourselves and others. For instance, I have been raised as aa Anglican Christian and have been an active one all my life (until the pandemic began, my believes didn't change but I have not yet ventured back to the Church). Although that is the path I have walked I have also attended services at Baptist, Methodist and Catholic Churches and visited a Jewish Temple, a Sikh Temple and a Mosque.
So much hate and prejudice comes from ignorance. As an example after meeting and getting to know followers of Islam I know (I already believed this, but I gained evidence), that people who chose to strap bombs to themselves with the sole purpose of killing others, no more represent the vast majority of this community that the extreme BNP represented the view of the majority of white people in England. The fact that they declined to no candidates to stand shows this.
Moving away from our Heritage
As well as the mass migration that has created the multicultural world we live in, people have also generationally changed their norms and values. As an Example in the 1600 and 1700s nobody classed themselves as being of no religion in England or Wales. The scales have now tipped that more people consider themselves of no religion that at least nominally religious. Many modern ways of living, beliefs and values would be unrecognisable to our ancestors.
A melting pot
In many ways multicultural life has created a melting pot. So many people have been influenced by previous generations from different cultures as well as social interactions. So we have Christian Buddhists, there is a Western Chakra system and people perform Tai Chi and investigate Korean Skin Care. It is natural as a human to be curious and want to know about anything that initially presents as "other". It is something that may resonate with or, or maybe not.
So, given all of this. How have we landed in a situation where people are shouting over anyone who has different thoughts than them. "Cancelling" people who have a religious or cultural reason for thinking differently. Forming into groups who are told what is right and what is wrong and not encouraged to learn anything for themselves. This is seen on both sides of the political spectrum and from people of differing, or no, faiths.
How have we arrived in a place where instead of learning from history and celebrating all the progress our ancestors have made to tearing it down and pretending it never happened. How will subsequent generations understand the path through history if the current generations do everything possible to obscure this.
Let's agree to differ
When was the last time you saw two people yelling at each other, shouting over each other and being determined to make the other person agree with them. Now think about the last time you saw people have a conversation where they recognised they had two distinct points of view, because they had different lived experiences and calmly decided to agree to differ while maintaining respect for the other person to have their opinion. It feels like a dying art. One which, if I'm honest the media (both mass media and social media) is doing it's best to kill off.
A very boring place
Wouldn't the world be a very boring place if we all wore the same clothes, ate the same food, believed the same thing...