I’m going to talk a little bit about Mass Effect… again. It sort of has me thinking and I wanted to share some difficult personal insights. My way of working out the issues that sometimes bother me about the world and humanity as a whole. And yes, believe it or not, I’m going to use a video game as my jumping off point.
Mass Effect is set about 170 years into the future. You, the main character, Shepard, are charged with the task of uniting alien races into a most uncommon alliance in order to fight a force that wants to destroy you all. There is a significant degree of racism. A member of one race may refer to a teammate of another species not by their name but by their racial designation.
“Get out of my way, asari.” or “What do you want, human?”
Stereotypes abound and have been assigned to each race without prejudice. The friendships that Shepard is able to cultivated during the course of the game go a long way towards deconstructing those stereotypes and revealing the inherent “humanity” (for lack of a better word) they all possess. Hearing the racist references sometimes makes me cringe a little bit, but I definitely get the point. I think it is honest and that it would be that way. What I also notice is that among the humans, there is absolutely never an issue with regards to racial, religious, or cultural differences, like there are today. In a time when humankind rubs shoulders with people from far off worlds we humans are united by virtue of our humanity. Nothing else seems to matter.
So, that sort of got me thinking. What would it take for mankind today to dismiss the trivial differences between us, or even better, embrace them as being part of a lovely human mosaic? What would it take for us to be kind and accepting of one another by virtue of our shared humanity and nothing else?
Would it take an indomitable force to threaten our collective lives for us to recognize that we are all so much more alike than we are different and that our differences are awesome points of convergence and not reasons for divergence?