Christ Jesus said we must love ourselves before we can love others. That's a tall order for those coming home from a war, or living in a war every day whether gang members in urban cities or those in designated war zones. That's a tall order for those who are born with deformities, who aren't pretty: the obese, the acne-scarred, homosexuals, visually ugly, dwarves, midgets, and those who suffer from diseases like HIV/Aids, cancer, and mental disorders.
I remember a popular homecoming princess at my high school in the late sixties watching some athletes and bullies throwing pennies at her chubby, feminine looking freshman brother in the main hallway, making him dance with threats of beating him up. Her sister sadly stood in the crowd and watched . . . doing nothing.
I remember a tenant at an apartment building who was semi-mentally functional, the ones young people and ignorant adults called "tards." He told me once, "I know I'm retarded but I hate it when people make fun of me." One day while substitute teaching at a high school I saw some teenage boys making a Downs Syndrome female student dance. I put a stop to that and took the guys to the principal. Know what the principal said. "Oh well. boys will be boys," and they were sent back to class.
"Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart."The Countess of Blessington
I remember all too wellwatching a terribly obese girl at the middle (junior high) school I attended and watching her sadness and hurt as boys openly taunted her. Things like this happen too much: the ugly girl at school, the hair-lip student, the smallest boy, the flattest girl, the kids wearing Walmart specials that look alike; an ugly world out there. The cause of this meanness is usually learned from primary male and female adult role models at home, the need to impress a group, and a poor self image. Why does a person need to knock another person if she is secure in herself? Why do people use others as mirrors? Why do girls and guys compare the competition? Why the need for a popular, set the dress trends grouping in our schools? Who the hell are they anyway? Gods? Neo-gods, demigods, faux gods, stone idols, most who end up nowhere when they get older and their good looks begin to wrinkle and their bellies sag?
Franklin Thomas said it well when he wrote:
"One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings."