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Plants are sorted into large groups called Families. These in turn are broken into sub-groups called “Genera (singular = Genus)”, and these in turn are made up of particular groups called “Species.” For example, there is the Bean family (Fabaceae). In this family there are the Paloverdes (Parkinsonia). One of the species is the Blue Paloverde (Parkinsonia florida). Human beings may be called a “Family”, but the reality is that they are just one species in the Genus “Homo”. This means that all human beings on earth are in the same species.

Throughout human history, people have been deceived into thinking that others are inherently different than they are. A person might become royalty through some act of bravery, and then his children are said to have blue blood. But their blood has not changed.  The idea that some people have nobler blood is fiction and a way of gaining control over others. If a person is elevated to some noble position, her or she might talk differently than they did before (putting on a posh accent, for example), dress differently, have people treat them differently (such as bowing and scraping before them) all to reinforce the idea that they are different. They are not.

Explorers encountering people with different skin color and strange customs were inclined to think of themselves as being superior to them. They might have refered to these new people as “primitive”, “savages,” or “aliens” of some kind. Slavery was often justified by the pretext that people with dark skin were not as human as their owners were. In India this has been taken to an extreme in the caste system, which goes back about 3000 years and initially seems to have been a matter of function. A person could move from one caste to another if they changed jobs. When the English took over India they apparently solidified the layered structure of society since it made the people easier to control.

Racism is partly based on the idea that some races are superior to others – as in white supremacy. This is false and is simply a means of justifying humans needing to control others. These days scientists say that there is only one race, the human race.

Many people no longer think in those terms, but it is still difficult to overcome our tendency to classify people as less than we are or more than we are. This is all false, but it takes spiritual work to assert that it is not so. We can benefit from taking the simple exercise of looking at another person and saying “This person is no different than I am.”

When you see or read about another person and feel that you are either superior to them or inferior, say to yourself: “This person is no different than I am.” REMEMBER THAT WE ARE ALL BASICALLY THE SAME.