i was driving home this afternoon when i had a realisation: this society is screwed up, mentally, and it comes from the fact that there are two very powerful, but entirely opposite messages being propagated from a very early age. one message is that everyone is equal: things like the constitution, the bill of rights and even the pledge of allegiance emphasise the fact that nobody is better than anybody else, and that all of us are just human beings. the other message is that there are some people who are better than other people. this was driven home to me by a bumper sticker i saw on the back of the car in front of me that said “Cougar Pride” and had the name of some elementary school on it.
of course, what it said to me is that the students of whatever elementary school it was are indoctrinated to believe that their school is better than the other schools in the area. it was intended, most likely, to elicit pride in the school’s sports teams, but it clearly was intended to represent the entire “cougar” population, regardless of whether or not they were on a sports team. and it obviously doesn’t matter to anyone that the population is being indoctrinated, because i’ve seen exactly the same message on bumper stickers for every school that has thought about it in the slightest degree.
i see things like this all the time: “our sports team is better than yours”, or “our city is better than yours”, or “our religion is better than yours” — but we’re all equal, all just human beings, nobody is “better” than anybody else.
society is going to continue to be screwed up until we start teaching our children consistent messages and stop being contradictory.