Integration of society has become a desirable social goal recently given the mass migration occurring on a global scale. The concept itself has lofty visions of people from different cultural , religious and national backgrounds living peacefully together respecting each other and their ways of living life.
It does however bring up visions of blandness as homogeneity as by definition each culture needs to compromise and adjust some of their values and habits to blend in with the group. I believe that the concept itself needs to be renamed and redefined. I think a better way to achieve peace and respect of all is to strive for social cohesion where no compromises need to be made and where each culture has freedom of expression of its own values and ways of living as long as these do not impinge on anyone else exercising their own different values.This is not an easy task to achieve . Harmonizing with our neighbors especially those of dramatically different, opposing even values requires energy expenditure and it feels like work. It is for this reason many of us prefer to live in an echo chamber communities which is more relaxing when life gets busy and stressful. Less stressful life may free up some energy required to relate to others in a new way based on curiosity and acceptance.
Equally relevant is the issue of status as belonging to the dominant culture.It is a basic human instinct to belong, to be part of the tribe and the survival instinct tell us it is “better” to be part of the dominant group. Minority groups often feel inferior in a subconscious way and may play a role of a victim whilst internally feeling animosity towards the majority culture for being excluded. Tensions flare up to level out the “status playing field”
We are progressing towards the enlightenment individually and as a global society. All the while we try to compare ourselves to others and judge their actions – on individual and on group basis – through the prism of own values integration is not possible. Some ideas are simply too abhorrent to various group of people to accept and tolerate. So in one sense progress towards enlightened society needs to be a step by step process and will emerge organically from within each person when they are ready to embrace it. For the time being the legal framework has to have an overarching impact to enable society to function in a cohesive way. Such legal framework ought to be a collaborative work giving voice to multitude of cultures to work relatively well for all.
So how are we to achieve social cohesion? The key aspect of learning to respect another is first loving and appreciating self. It is only when an individual has self respect and owns his ( or hers) own positive and negative traits that he ( of she) can appreciate another from a perspective of being rooted in his own truth and self value. The “other” when perceived from that stance is seen as an equal and as a divine expression in human form.
Current rise of nationalism seems to point at greater separatist movement but exactly the opposite is true. It shows a trend of people becoming more aware of own culture and of own values and becoming empowered. Concurrent to the rising feelings of pride seeing other cultures displaying their ways of life in all their glory and gory details allows for the collective and individual shadow to be emerge and be brought into light of awareness for healing to happen. Contrasts can spark the beginning of inner work in many. It is only by knowing self better and becoming securely rooted n own truth one can interface with another individual by retaining own uniqueness yet honoring the individuality of another. It is at this stage people start seeking a “3rd way” – they start to seek what they have in common and not focus on differences. At the very least they can acknowledge that”we both breathe air” 🙂
Ultimately this process is greatly enhanced by the rise of consciousness through engaging in various practices such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness or whatever way one chooses to connect to the spiritual aspect of life to enable them to experience joy as a default emotion. This is a gateway to love as a constant way of being in the world. Raised consciousness translates as values such as kindness, compassion, cooperation and tolerance supported and expressed with inner strength emerge as dominant ways of interaction and behavior regardless of culture and nationality. Social cohesion emerges from love in action in a self organizing inevitable way.
Lets start loving self more! We are all part of One, of “ALL THAT IS” and “ALL THAT IS” is incomplete without you 😉