Random Thought Thursday: The First in a Series (Or Maybe Not Since it's Supposed to Be Random)
What is it with the human desire to classify everything?
And it starts from a very early age . . . Or is that the adults in our lives began teaching us to put everything in its place when we were very young and we just followed suit?
I mean, I understand it from the standpoint of wanting to separate things into more manageable groups in order to better understand an ever-changing, overwhelmingly expansive universe. That I get and think may be very valid.
But on the other hand I wonder if this constant classification of things (shapes, colors, sizes, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, genders, sexual preferences . . . ) might be getting a little out of hand. Doesn't such marginalizing of people into cookie cutter-like groups cause division among humans? The whole idea that there's "Us" and then there's "Them?"
I don't know. I look at, say, the Animal Kingdom and while humans classify the she*t out of every living being (Maybe I'm a little bitter because I flunked out of Zoology in college, but really who can keep all of the species, sub-species, phylum, sub-phylum, genus, class, etc. straight?) the animals themselves could really care less who belongs in what category. I mean, obviously, there are those that don't hob knob in the same social circles - zebras don't hang around with lions for fear of being eaten - but other than that a herd of zebra will travel with a herd of wildebeest and a group of gazelles along with a few hangers on like birds and insects. There is an order to things, but you don't see animals debating what that order is.
Now yes, we humans live in communities (rural, suburban, city) - but look at that there are classifications for where we live, what food we eat, what kind of school we attend, what socioeconomic class we belong to, whether we rent or own a home - the list is endless. And so the great dichotomy goes . . .
Yet, such classifications cause great divides in my observations - necessary? I don't know. But just think about it . . . has being pigeon-holed into one group or another caused you difficulty in your own life? I think most of us reading this right now can think of at least once or twice where assumptions have been made, insults thrown, doors slammed in our faces . . . Is it all because we feel a need to classify things for understanding? Or is it more likely that we as humans want to make ourselves feel superior to others in some form or another? Or is it just because it's been done since, well, since forever?
Then again, maybe I'm just being cynical today :)