I wrote this post a few years back and shared my feelings on racism. Racism is something that causes inner conflicts and is a detriment to our mental health. We can not be mentally healthy and still believe in the dislike of others based on race, colour or culture. It is a ridiculous notion and it goes against the moral fibers of our being.
I have been considering the "nature versus nurture" debate as I ponder values and morals. Are these traits genetic and instinctual, or are they all taught to us during our developmental stages of life? When we are young children, do we not test the waters of life while experiencing certain feelings and affective behaviors from inside ourselves which tell us what we are doing is either "wrong" or "right"? This would be an argument for the nature side of the debate, and would tell us that we certain "built-in" feelings (instincts) and cognitive thoughts that guide us between "good" and "evil".
On the other hand, if we are taught something is right and it goes against our instinctual feelings, which one are we supposed to choose? It is quite obvious for the most part that we are taught the morals and values that we carry with us throughout our lives by our parents and the important guiding figures that we grow up with. Many of these are based with our family's religious beliefs or some other form of ethical code that we live our lives by.
One of my favorites to discuss when it comes to the very fiber of our moral and ethical beings is racism. Racism is learned, it is not an inherent trait that we are born with. There are a few that will argue this point but I believe that this is indisputable. To dislike another human being because they have a different color of skin or are from a different race is absolutely ridiculous. It is ludicrous to think that we have the ability to judge others based on how they look to us and not based upon who they are. Racism is a prime example of how horrible our moral and ethical values have become within the human race.
The worst part is that this problem seems to only get worse and we will pass this along to the next generation. We can praise our own set of values and morals as being the best and many religions often do. But where do they refer to this issue within their set of rules? Racism is a tool used to segregate certain groups from others for only negative purposes. It is something that has become a way of life for many in our world and I must question the moral grounding of those individuals.
Is there a natural instinct within us that makes us dislike others who don't look the same as us or speak the same language? I personally say no and will argue my side of that one until the ends of time. It is a stereotype or schema that we create during our developmental stages of life, and this is where the problem needs to be repaired. I ask all humans to attempt to teach their children better than our generation has been taught in this regard. If we want to improve the morals, ethics and values of the youth in our world, we must begin by teaching them this most important value.
It comes down to that old saying that still holds true and always will, "Don't judge a book by its cover". Accept all people for who they are on the outside. If you find you don't like that person after you learn what is on the inside, then choose not to spend time around them. Who someone truly is on the inside, and what makes them a human being with a "soul" or "spirit", that is what truly matters.