Only in a society that is hyped up on fear, will the local police be called because a young man is wearing a trench coat. True story! And, it was not the first time! This post is not about that specific tale, which is truly not mine to tell, but the sense of disconnection we have fostered through our, obsessive, willingness to judge and criticize others based on our personal and cultural biases.
Why did we stop talking to people? Why are we afraid of teenagers? Why do we hone in on the differences instead of the similarities? And, most importantly, why have we, as a society, lost our ability to create connections, instead of dissonance?
Does anyone else recognize how utterly stupid it is that someone actually called the police because they saw a teen walking around wearing a trench coat, or, the multitude of other ridiculous reasons law enforcement have been contacted in recent memory?
The only way we can fix this is to counter the culture of fear and prejudice by developing bridges across the perceived divide of differences to recognize our shared humanness and to create relationships. Go - talk to a stranger! Look at people and smile when they walk past. When you are curious about something, ask the question - get engaged. And, most importantly, open your mind and your heart to the beauty of diversity. Only then can fear of the other be replaced with the sense of community and connection.