Imagine a World of Human Similarity - Eric Karoi
The Good Book attributes the origin of mankind to divine creation. Scientists and historians on the contrary believe that human beings evolved from a primitive state. The beauty of these two analogies is: both agree that human beings have a common origin. Diversity from the Biblical perspective was brought out at the Tower of Babel while scientists argue that human differences were caused mostly by environmental factors.
To this extent, it is evident that diversity was caused by human behaviour in relation to the environment. It is further supported by the fact that human genetic variation in terms of DNA sequence is only 0.5%. This technically means that all human beings share a lot of similarities. What could be different if everybody in the world had similar colour, culture, language, behaviour and social orientation?
There could be one main advantage of absolute human similarity, that is, Peace! Peace could be experienced in an ideal situation. In the real world, however, there is still a possibility of at least a quarrel. The Good Book tells the story of Cain and Abel to have fought despite their close family association. These two brothers were from the same parents, same race, same language and resided together. The only difference was their economic activities and good will.
Absolute similarity of human beings could be boring! It could not make sense at all if everybody spoke the same language, same culture and same colour. People could not even travel for tourism. There could have been no need for innovation as innovation sometimes comes as a solution to challenges associated with human differences. We could not have a national heritage such as Kenyans being known for athletics, the pyramids of Egypt, the dazzling South African gumboot dance, the Nigerian Nollywood and the sweet melody of Tanzanian bongo. The concept of specialization could not be valid. Everybody could be a wondering generality!
Diversity contributes to peace if every Kenyan realises that, “The fact that we are not moving in the same direction doesn’t mean I am lost. It just means we have different destinations”. This will make every Kenyan want to taste a muthokoi from Kamba land, mokimo from a Kikuyu, ugali cooked and shared by a Luyhia, matoke by a Kisii, a tilapia fried by a Luo, a Maasai dance, mursik from a Kalenjin and various other cultural differences that make this country a proud and happy nation. This will be the absolute source of peace. Each community will appreciate whatever they don’t have and celebrate their unique pride.
Further to communal diversity is individual difference. Internal peace is manifested by peace with others. A smiling face is likely to extend its happiness to everybody else around them. But our individual beam will be seen if we value everyone else despite their disparity from us. The good book reminds us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. This is keen to nationhood. Everybody will love everyone else for their uniqueness. Love for one and all is the beginning of peace. Peace is within, not in our similarity.