How do we enable a wild diversity of humans to live together?

Christine McDougall
2 min readJul 8, 2021


To be aware of the other is to be aware of existence. Self recognises all that is not self.

Captivated by a sunrise, I know the witness (me) and that which I am witnessing. (The sunrise)

Awed by a person who has height and appearance that is not me, I can comment on difference. Not as a slur on identity, rather as a point of interest and difference. If everyone around me looked and behaved exactly as I do my world would be similar to a deep dreamless sleep. No thing. Or same same, repeated to infinity.

When we weaponise the other, when we build whole systems around an ‘us and them’ existence, we agree to a world of in-group, out-group.

The sunrise that is not me becomes something to be held at arm’s length, to be feared. The tall stranger with a different appearance to me becomes a risk to my existence.

The ‘us and them’ conversation has infected us all. The ‘them’ that do not think like me. The ‘them’ that believe in ‘ridiculous’ things, according to me.

If we want to cross this divide of ‘us and them’ we do need to reach an agreement about how we be together.

This is the challenge of humanity. How do we enable a wild diversity of humans to live together?

How do we enable agency within community? Respect for individuality without cost to community?

The ‘us and them’ conversation works for those in power. The game of divide to conquer, to keep conquered keep divided, is an age-old strategy. It keeps us, the people, busy, focused on this distraction while the riches of our precious home planet is robbed from us.

Moving into this next stage of my life, the challenge I am giving myself is to pay attention to my own ‘us and them’ divides. From overt to subtle. To know the deep divisions that I have cultivated, even those without conscious choice.

Photo taken June 13th 2014

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Christine McDougall

Committed to supporting those in business who strive to leave the world better.