Like us fore, ever

Know time connects the past to the future . . .

A moment visually captured, later the photograph grows old, like every other thing —entropy— but even as it grows old it may also have meaning for some people who see it, a meaning which stirs the memory of that moment, it brings back the feeling . . . of a moment in history.

Is a photograph better than just, say pre-camera, where the memory was stored in the mind? . . . or the memory held 一repressed or played like a video in the mind? . . . Then again the photographic image is a specific moment in time, or in the case of a film, a period of time, whereas the memory is a biological machine integrating all of the senses into one sensual moment —the body—the eyes, ears, mouth, touch and nose — a tool for the mind to sense the Universe. and the photograph using the visual sense can trigger a comprehensive sensual feeling. Where the photograph objectives the moment, the mind subjectives it.

The photograph always looks the same, but the feeling may change. Maybe we change our opinion about the recorded moment—a happy image of an old love affair gone bad—an image which once invoked happiness later bring sadness anger, or self reproach —do we rip it up and throw it out in haste?

The same image that when first seen brought happiness, later seen brings sadness, or anger, perhaps some psychological rationalizations, and insecurity, perhaps even resolve—“Lord just help get over this one, I’ll get over the next one myself.”

This young man, holding two phones, was texting himself.

Sometimes its what was not in the image, or, some thing which makes an unplanned appearance in a moment which caught the feeling of the photographer but was missed by the lens. Who is seeing, the photographer or the lens?

For some the photograph may be better than the reality—McLuhan joked about two women who pass each other on the sidewalk, one pushing a new born in a carriage. The other says “What a beautiful baby!” to which the mother replies, “Oh but you should see the photographs.”

With TV and video people do not have to know how to read.. McLuhan used to argue that print (circa Gutenberg , movable type and western world) created a world in which visual became the most used, actually over used, sense, creating a “biological imbalance” having a major influence in the networks of human relations, i.e. the social structure of human relationships of society.

Print influenced people to use the visual much more and the other much senses less altering the society as a whole. Print popularized reading and writing, and brought correct sentences, logical sentence structure, common word meanings, and popularized causal relationships expressed logically—understanding some “thing” is to know what caused it, to “know”why it happened.

Perhaps some are capable, like Mork, to see images in their hand, and lead us through this madness.

Alameda Creek

Will we, human beings, always be “like this?

Everyday people get up in the morning, they may take a walk or bike ride along Alameda Creek or may go to work, or may even rob a bank , save a life or join an army.

If you feel like you agree to the feeling of the words, even if we do not agree on what “like this” means specifically, then we share something . . . a desire for change.

Many say we all want the same things, but more likely what some want is more of the same things than others get. —its not the things that is important but the “ more.”

You may have your own unique definition of what “like this” means . . . Think of those times when someone says “Why do people do this or that . . . its human nature; he’s a bad person; she does not have integrity‚—so many reasons make logical sense.

Why do people believe lies? Why are people so gullible? Why do people make war? Why do people fall in love with someone they cannot live with? Why does she not like me?

Are people naturally good, such as Mencius believed and a great society needs to develop that seed of human nature? Are people naturally bad such as Hobbes, Thomas Aquinas or Han Fei Tzu argue, and society needs an strict authoritative individual or legal structure to control the bad behaviour—the human nature behavior—of individuals with strongly enforced laws?

Are we all sometimes good and sometimes bad, are there the good people and the bad people, are each of us some good and some bad? Hw do we know?

Is this just the way human beings are? “Human nature?” we cannot escape it, by definition anyway, it is a prison in which we are bounded, yet we do not know, or cannot agree on what it is.

What is our “Natural Self”? So many behaviors in the past of 300+ years, which were sufficient to enable human beings to survive come to be embedded in culture and as time goes on for some they become outdated, and need to be changed while for others they are something to defend as necessary to enable people to continue to survive.

Change happens,, but if there is a natural self, a human nature, by definition is unchangeable. The world changes while people remain the same? People who want to maintain the status quo usually believe human nature as unchangeable, the problems we have in society will always be with us.and we need to structure society to minimize the problems of bad individual behavior .

China has always been an authoritarian political structure. Confucian philosophy is about what is the “correct” behavior of the ruler. Dan, Duke Wen of Zhou ( 周文公旦) is perhaps the most recognized example of admirable behavior

“Will China become less authoritarian in the future”—that’s like saying “Will the United States become less racist in the future?” Its unchartered territory, things we never have been able to fix or change before. Great leaders will look forward to a better world; authoritarian demagogues will convince people that a past which was not so great was actually great and better than anything the future has to offer.

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People are waiting, patiently,

Looking for leaders to bring them home.

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go, no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
. . .

. . . If I knew the way I would take you home.
Ripple Grateful Dead

But its not “If you go” —we all do go,—that is what it means to be born and have a life.

There are as many paths in life as there are people.

Imagine working here, spending 8 hours a day in this little box??? Where do you poop and pee? Then again imagine being a wood pecker, whenever you are eating you are banging your head against a tree trunk.

Looking across the bay from the end of Montgomery Street towards Berkeley. or more likely, the angle is towards Oakland.

When standing in front of a two dimensional Art, I like to ask the question, What is the artist doing here? . . .

Most of the images of Tom and Nance were not planned, we would be somewhere and a picture would come up and we made it,

And answer it with a grin.

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate Bodhi svaha

Knott scene knorr her’d

Welcome to San Francisco!.

I “immigrated ’cross-country” to the Bay Area late 1979, drove from Boston, blessed to have friends back then and never lived in San Francisco.” I am a visitor with a senior pass for public transportation. First time to be officially welcomed with a beautiful smile.

Reminds me, what matter “Human Nature?” Whatever is “Human Nature” Theoretically it’s a quality of us all—we are all human and if it is “natural” for humans to have this quality, then we all (should) have it, And we cannot avoid or escape having it—we are by definition this quality.

If behaviour is human nature then we all do it, if the feeling is human nature then we all feel it .

What is it that is the “Human Nature? ” Is it the behaviour? Is it the feelings?

People can feel the same feeling and respond differently—some feel a hurt and anger and strike out violently hurting others and/or often hurting themselves, while others find, or develop ways to deal with the negative energy positively, or at least not negatively.

Perhaps its a wonder that in the history of human injustice, and human sadness, most people need so little reward to keep going.

Is there such a thing as “Human Nature?” We use the word regularly, that is just the way people are,

That’s life, What’s Life, a five cent magazine. I don’t have five cents, That’s Life.
A Great Depression (1930s) conversational parley. Life was a popular magazine featurnig phorographs

We would think that if something, such as behavour or feelings, are “Human Nature,” then we all do it or all feel it, to not do so would not to be a human being.

But we see such things as compassion, empathy, and remorse, often said to be “Human Nature.” are distributed along a quantitative continuum—some people have more than others. And then we have the category of “sociopath” which is m by definition, a person who has none of these qualities.

Often some groups of people identify their behavour as “natural” and the different behavour of others as “unnatural.”

Hetro- and homo sexuality for example—some will say that homosexuality is unnatural but if so, then why do people do it? Because they have fallen by the way? succumbed to the Devil? or more contemporary , brainwashed by the wrong political ideaology.

Alameda Creek

That’s the problem with the concept of “Human Nature.” We are both subject and object and cannot separate from ourselves. Why are some behaviours and some feelings natural yet not everyone does them. Are human beings naturally good? Naturally bad? A product of their experiences.?

Who defines “natural?” What is the standard ? If war is part of our nature, then we will always have war.If murdering people is part of our nature then we will always have murder. Society has some different “life openings” –social roles—for individuals , does a society, for its own survival, naturally generate a social structure which fills those roles with specific individuals?

Another way of looking at what is “natural” is to use the points  (a line) of  survival, the things we do are the things that enabled us to survive and are the things we should do now and in the future.—We know that these work because we are here.

These include every thing humans did through history, a cacophony of good and bad things. I wonder if both good and bad behavior are necessary to be present in a society to enable survival, are necessary for survival or just sufficient for survival?

Not the survival of an individual, people are social, live in a group, it is group survival but it is the individual’s behaviour which— the good and bad behavior—which generates the structure of society.

Perhaps for a society to survive there needs to be individuals who behave both good and bad behavior.Still if murdering people is very successful the society will cease to exist. Just enough so the the murderers can serve as an example of what not to do so keep enough people in line to keep the society surviving.

Its human nature to want to see others as bad or good, not just because it makes us feel better or as some people would have us, be afraid,

In order for there to be good people there must bad people. It is the presence of criminals that create law abiding citizens; and vice versa, compassionate people create non compassionate—the job of social outliers is to ensure the survival of the society of “normal” people.” by a social structure which needs living examples of not what to do in life.

Perhaps it is the society seeking its own survival at the expense of the individuals,—or perhaps some of the individuals— which shapes and directs the behaviors of all individuals to create the society, the social structure of human behavior..

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What was interesting is that the vertical line of the mirror cuts through the image of the person ,i.e. the person is reflected in the mirror.

A blue tattoo, blue underwear and a blue mask.

I made this sketch from a series of circles in rows and columns, the beige background is the same color .. Something will come of this later, but its a long term effort and anticipates fun. .

Interesting with the blue background below.

I am across this map of Xinjiang dated 1759—shows the topography, cities, villages and roads with the military posts in the Xinjiang. Also shows the administrative system and local divisions of Xinjiang before the 24th year of Emperor Qianlong (1759).is my understanding that the name Xinjiang was not used until the next century generally the area was known (in China) as the Western Frontier.

This are has long been populated, and it was part of the silk road for many centuries. Uyghurs, longtime residents of the area, were not always muslim. This area was very wealthy, populated with peoples from all over Central Asia. and traders from Eastern China to the Mediterranean. Pre-muslim, the Uyghurs, had warm and cool relationships with Chinese, Dynasties perhaps beginning from the Han dynasty where they served with military leadership off and on through the Tang Dynasty. “Conversion” which was relatively late in their history involved one of the Mongol Khans invading and converting.while many others just left the area.

llkkk

寒山;Hanshan (Cold Âountain) is a figure associated with a collection of poems from the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the Taoist and Chan tradition. No one knows who he was, when he lived and died, or whether he actually existed.

If another excels accept him
If he doesn’t excel don’t
If you excel there’s room for others
If you don”t there’s none for you
Loving the adept consoling the inept
a disciple of Goodness finds his place
I urge you to follow Tzu Chang’s motto
and ignore Po Shang’s advice

Han Shan The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain translated from Chinese by Red Pine

Know thing two no

One hundred years ago daily life was very different:

Bought out sugar by the hundred pounds, especially in preserving time, and I remember my father would send to Montgomery Ward (at that time they sold groceries) or Sears and Roebuck and buy a hundred pounds of rolled oats or hundred pounds of rice and a hundred pounds of prunes, and it’d come sacked up, get big sacks.

Lennie Hern, age 90, Decautur County, from Feeding our Families Memories of Hoosier Homemakers published May 1983

What is this world we live in now?

A society where our lives are working to get money to consume things—food, shelter, clothes, entertainment, medical care—and the making of those things we consume, as well as the cleaning up after we consume them, are destroying Earth..

Life on Earth is the whole of what people do, it is not what some people do while what other people do is not life. And money is an important part of it.

How do we understand money?

Money enables a sustainable society—a group of people— in which individuals can produce products which have different levels of demand by different individuals in the society over a period of time and everyone can get enough wealth to live, hopefully to live well enough so that violent change over the distribution of life’s basic needs is no needed—social cohesiveness.

In a society where trade and barter are the only production and distribution , the products in their market are very limited and most people can produce most of their needs by themselves.

As society develops people who produce coats have a different market demand than people who produce lettuce than those who produce cars and so on.. After the coat producer trades a coat to a farmer, it maybe years before the farmer needs another coat but the coat producer needs needs food on a short term regular basis.

The work of both, the tailer and the farmer, is represented by money which enables product exchange to happen and results in a more technologically advanced but more inter-dependent society where money is an important part of a stable society.

Alameda Creek

I try to walk daily along Alameda Creek, leaving my house I see my neighbors, stretch out a little and and listen to podcasts and think about “things,” — “Is there such a thing as “Human Nature”?.”

“Its human nature!!, thats why” Is there such a thing as “Human Nature”?

If there is such a “thing” What would it mean? That behavour defined as“ Human Nature” is caused, or determined—by a common Universal law that determines all human beings will behave in accordance with—We all do it!

Its a quality which is a part of every person, we would all have it and it would be expressed in our common behaviour.

Would we have the same amount of human nature or is it distributed among individuals on a continuum — some individuals might have more or less of it than others. John behaves with more compassionate than does Jill, Jill has more artistic talent than John.

Prhaps in the name of “learning” we apply interval level math to measure it — John is 6 1/2 inches taller than Jill who weights 54 pounds less than John. who lives 20 minutes further from work than does Jill. Or we could say, John is taller than Jill who weighs less than John and it takes him longer to drive to work.

As each person travels through Space-Time, their life is a unique path, perhaps comparing and then ranking the path of each individual using an independent standard makes it easier to objectify other people and miss out on the wonders of their lives.

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple, Grateful Dead

Each path is separate, no matter how often the pushback tells you its the same, uneventful path as so many others.

Human nature is embedded in our biological material existence, humans do not have sonar like bats; gills like fish; a nose like a dog, we have our own human nature.

On those clearly human qualities, such as the five senses,we find some people are naturally born without them—such as sight or hearing—and we refer to them with words which suggest “not a complete person”—yet wherever there is a a society of humans living there are some who are born blind and some who are born deaf ———where is the concept of common human nature now?

Or is it that “the qualities we associate with the definition of ‘Human Nature’ not only are distributed in varying degrees among individuals but in some individuals are actually not present— think of compassion, empathy and remorse.

We say: Its human nature to want more than you have; its human nature to cheat people when you can get away with it; its human nature to be lazy; When we say this we asset that all people are thus driven to behave badly by the very condition of of being human.And when we make that judgement we come to the “obvious conclusion ” that the purpose of law in a society is prevent people from doing bad.

But humans did not start out with the ability to know this, they only got there after doing a lot of really bad things to others along the way, inhumane stuff, like killing others and stealing property and making law and order as a tool l to defend from others what the group in power stole in the first place,. This is why law without justice for the past is always just more of the problem.

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For a period of time the Fogg exhibited three small, same-size, Rembrandt paintings at the same time right next to each other, head shots of himself, his father and Christ, and while they were hanging oI often stopped in to see them—The Fogg was free then but that was over 40 years ago, there may be entrance fees now.

Man is part of Nature. Therefore human creativity is part of Nature’s productivity. In Man, Nature has arrived at self-awareness.
Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854)

We are what we look like, by definition anyway —”I see you coming down the street,or I recognize you in the photograph.

We all know, its common knowledge, its common sense, there is more to our self but its not immediately known solely by being seen.

In popular media such as film and TV, for actors their “physical self” is the stock and trade, or at least the pass to getting in the door for the next job..

How can we not know ourselves? . . . might as well ask . . .

How can we knot no ourselves?

Sometimes it was too mis-leading to get my heard around it . .

Like an epiphany which increasingly mismanages me daily.

I was like a shadow always looking for new ways to see things,

That’s how I got here in the last and first place.

Embed yourself in your own nature and your own tailwind will seek you out.

Brush painting by Janney

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhisvaha

Whening is not the ending of zenning

The Qixi Festival (Chinese 七夕)

The Quxi Festival, celebrated for over 2600 years, on the seventh day of the seventh lunisolar month on the Chinese calendar (about now) celebrates the yearly meeting of Altair and Vega.The Chinese story is about two lovers, the weaver girl Zhinü (Vega) and the cowherd, Niulang  (Altair). Niulang was very poor and homeless, deserted by his family, met the beautiful Fairy Zhinü, on her visit to earth they fell in love, and against the wishes of Heaven she stayed, they married against the rules, their punishment was to be separated forever by a Silver River (the Milky Way). Altair built a bridge of magpies over the Silver River.and the Emperor of Heaven was so moved by their love they were allowed to meet once a year.

.Brush drawing by Janney for Quxi festival. Could be lovers in Albuquerque ballooning along the Sandia Mountains

The time of meeting is now, watch for the Summer Triangle

San Francisco

Sometimes words are too abstract. Its not that people do not understand the meanings of words, rather at The Beginning, there was never A Dictionary, people made sounds into words into languages while they were busy surviving.

Words have a structural social nature, they work with each other, they fit together in sentences to enable communication between people. Words represent the things in the human experience. They are used as symbols for those things but they are not those things.

Knowing how to say, or write the word does not mean one understands the meaning of the word.

Human beings lived in different places around the earth and developed different languages with different words.

If words represent things in the human experience and humans experience the universe similarly, then do different languages have different words which represent the same things.—after all if there is a set of things, we should have words for those things .Can we take different languages, list them side by side and find words which have a meaning-match, where translating is just a mater of knowing what word from your language matches—or represents— the same thing,

For many words this works but for many other words, for different reasons, it is not a simple process of matching words until its all done, Translation of poetry may be a choice between the “literal meaning” or the “feeling meaning.”

The corners of California and Powell are a favorite place, Both streets are steep inclines, there are blinking red lights and both streeta have cable cars not just running on them but also making a turn. People at all levels, pedestrians and drivers, are confused, lack confidence and are hesitant to go through the intersection. Imagine an out of town car driver stopped on a steep hill looking at the four blinking red lights on each corner, hesitant to move while behind is a SF regular in a large delivery truck honking the horn and the pedestrians are standing around waiting for a “walk” sign that never appears.The intersection of America.

Do these differences represent different experiences ? Is there a “Real standard set of things” out there for people—for scientists—to discover, differentiate and define?
Produce store along Stockton Street

Alameda Creek

Covid restricted my travel and the Alameda Creek Trail, with levee, runs right by my (baby’s) door, As I like to walk everyday I often find myself on the trail. My photographs always have more questions than answers but they would never be evidence in a court of law.

Is there an actual standard set of “things” in the universe and oneday well people be able to differentiate each thing one from another and give them all a name.

There are many problems in knowing but what makes this work for human beings is that we all have a standard set of senses—sight, sound, taste, touch and smell and once we have words, we can compare our experiences and test if this experience is really deserving of the title “thing.”

Factors that makes it difficult is that societies —I use the word society here to mean a group of people theoretically defined as culture bound—have different historical experiences resulting in things which maybe completely or partially different.

For example different societies just by living in different geographical locations on the Earth may different different tools created to work in different places.

Levels of knowledge can play a part. Cultivated plants which for thousand of years appeared physically different from one society to another when, much later, investigated by science find them be like biological siblings.

The big “nothing, ” —air—which humans for millenniums used to separate one “thing from another thing” turns out also to be a bunch of things, small particles we cannot see.s

Consider all the new words in our society just since my life time of 76 years. Ae these all new things, created by people, words which never before existed?


When the term “Super Bowl” came out , I thought is was satirical joke, When young I played sports, enjoyed it— and have exercised most of my life— I do 3-4 miles miles every day along the creek—but I do not desire to sit around watching other people play, and other people become a bunch of partying fans— so for about 10 years I thought when people used the term Super Bowl that they were making a satirical joke about the irrational obsession many Americans had for football.—Shows you how removed I can be from pop culture.


Technically in the universe the amount of matter is constant— The law of conservation of mass states that mass in an isolated system is neither created nor destroyed by chemical reactions or physical transformations. Maybe the universe is an isolated system but then isolated from what?

So technically concerning the universe if we could agree on—discover?— the “smallest of all fundamental particles” and that the number of these particles would be a constant then there would be a finite number of different ways the finite number of smallest particles could join together. This is, for me anyway, no matter how small we look, we always find something smaller and no matter how big we look the universe is always the biggest, yet it keeps getting expanding —is the number of smallest particles particles in the Universe a constant that keeps getting bigger.

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This was along Alameda Creek trail but it does not fit the previous section, call it a “feet picture”, just a big concrete block concrete left there by some construction crew doing a government project—First Amendment rights? freedom of expression in a public place ?.Think of it as a pre-historic wall in a cave.

Maybe 15 years ago, a hot summer night in Reno —ever feel lucky? I did this morning.

Windows to the worlds, a corner is a turning point

but it only leads to another corner, and another corner, always going around and around rectangle. You can see through me but I don”t go anywhere.

If you look for me I am like Buddha holding the flower for Kasyapa. when you smile at me, I am the one that smiles back.

Which is why when I wake up in the morning I see The Heat Sutra.on my wall, it keeps my mind from getting too uncluttered from all this useful information.

Gate Gate Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhisvaha.

Noh, know, no! free Wu Song

Wu Song, a character in Water Margin, liked to drink wine— bowls of wine, and sometimes the tavern keeper would bring an earthen ware jar of it to the table. The sign outside the roadhouse said “after three bowls do not cross the mountain” so Wu Song went in, drank 18 bowls, ate two catties of meat, and started up the mountain where he met the man-eating tiger and killed it with his bare hands.

Wu Song by Janney from Water Margin. Janney grew up with these Water Margin stories like we grew up with Le Morte D’Arthur.

What does it mean to know? to know some thing? to know something? I know what my shoes look like; I know how to start my car; I know what I like; I know how to dance the waltz; ; I know how to design; ; I know how to find my way home; I know to go to buy a used car; I know how to judge art skills—I may not like it but its well done or Its not well done but I like it and I know how to judge whether a person is honest or not. . .

Yasakune Jinja on a rainy fall morning

The list would be endless, often things we know can be broken down or combined into into multiple hierarchical parts with each one being counted as another thing we know—ad infinitum! Bothways!! Up or down!!
And without words, another complex multi-hierarchical set of things, each with its own set of rules, we could not communicate about it.

Things themselves can be hierarchically arranged from simple—a discrete thing— to complex, difficult to understand or even grasp. Into where is the universe expanding?? Think all the things and hierarchies of things, Gazillions of things all in their correct order that we need to know before we can even grasp that question. And yet people are so comfortable with that idea that its acceptable as the title of a popular on air tv show.

But to be Real for a society, any hierarchy needs to to start as single discreet commonly experienced thing, it needs a solid base to build on. Often when there is no solid base ofreal shared experience to stand on, Faith pops up to play a supporting role.

Some “things” we know while we do not know, we know the “meaning” of the word but its meaning—as they tell me about my old WordPress site code— “has been deprecated.” We all have a common understanding (however flaws) of what it means to live in a cave but very few people today have anything near that experience. Nothing associated with that “thing” is a part of The Common everyday experience.

We know things using our senses —see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, this is an empirical experience and as human beings, we share these same capabilities and have developed ways to measure that we use all the time.

Commonly we see the same colors, hear the same sounds, and so on. We can easily compare capabilities and variations of individuals.

If knowing is only sensing things then if we cannot experience them we do not know that they are there, even if they are there. Except we have reason . .

Another human method of knowing is Reason. The human body also includes a brain enabling people to think, to figure things out, to be creative, to behave with logic, call it Reason . .

which gives us ability to “figure things out”
The human body includes a brain, a mind, a connected central nervous system enabling people to organize—differentiate, define and make relatonships — sensory experiences, to think, to figure things out, to be creative, to behave with logic and reason, to have meaning.

Sweet rice dumpling with pork and peanut for a hiking taste treat in Coyote Hills.

But Reason needs sensory input, if people cannot experience they cannot Reason about the experience.

Science is based on sensory experience, if there are things we cannot experience they cannot be known to science. On the other hand science may “know” there is a thing without knowing what it is, such as “dark energy” or “dark matter” where science can measure some “thing” which when explained by accepted science results in a reason based conclusion that some other “thing” is there.

When scientists start looking for the thing, they find something new or a different explanation using accepted knowledge and scientific knowledge is expanded. Will science one know everything or will it always be finding new things only on closer inspection to find those things are made up of more things, a process which will go on for ever, not because of the nature things but because of the nature the process of human knowing, Or maybe AI will “fix that” by knowing things humans can never know.

In a sense science knows very little, but what it does know is good solid information that is practical for human beings while with faith you can know everything there is to know except one thing, the most important thing.

All day one decision after another . . .

and making some of those decisions are what you do for a living.

Individuals are so uniquely different and the threads which unite individuals into a society while being incredibly complex get most of us functioning on the same page. Still some people use those those minor differences to justify hate and killing others just for being human beings like themselves.

Or maybe it just is the nature of being human that there are some people who are so bad that it justifies killing, hate, war and scapegoating innocent people.

I will stand unbounded knowing outside at my door.