Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why Hate Because of Skin?

Sunny Morning at Stratosphere by JOn's ~=:-) view
The Stratosphere
Why hate based on skin?

“Eww, Gross! I Don’t wanna See their skin!”

That is the phrase that baffled me last Saturday.

I work at The Stratosphere in Vegas. The Stratosphere holds an annual event called “Scale The Strat.” This is an event sponsored by The American Lung Association, and encourages people to get fit, healthy, and active. The event is exactly what it sounds like: A running race Up the stairs of The Stratosphere Tower. This is 108 floors of stairs… not exactly an event for couch potatoes, slobs, or those who like to be lazy. Hundreds of fit, healthy, active people from all over the U.S. come for this one-of-a-kind event. There are also many locals, too! There are Firefighters, Police officers, local community leaders, and others who are like-minded.

As with any event where athletes are performing, it is a must to have the foods available that the human body needs to either fuel-up before the event, or to re-load on nutrients after the event has finished. The exact place I work is in The Pizzeria in The Stratosphere Tower. We are located at the base of The Tower, and where every event participant comes back down after they have finished the climb. In the past, The Pizzeria has not been open for this event, but this year the powers in charge decided that since the event people would be seeking to load up on carbs, salads, etc, they made the decision to open us up at 8am. (We usually open at 11). So they scheduled one cashier, and one cook. I did not get the early shift. I got the noon shift.

I showed up a little early, and was surprised to find out that we had hardly any business from the event. The cashier who was the early one is the type of person who always says things like “Man is God’s gift to women” or “I Love to watch all the men go by” or “I love the way the men flirt with me here!” I thought it was perfect that she was the one scheduled to work the front counter while all these healthy, fit men were going to be right in front of her. There were plenty of healthy, fit women, too… but this gal does not like anything about women, so they were not a factor.

So, as I walked-up, and saw her leaning on the counter looking absolutely bored, I was slightly surprised. I asked how business was and she told me they were not getting any customers from the event. So I teasingly asked her if she was at least enjoying all the “man eye candy”. She looked horrified, and said, “Eww, Gross!” This kinda baffled me, so I inquired further… because these are some of the most fit, healthy, leaders in our community. These are people who are clean, not on drugs, active, healthy-minded, happy, positive, and help others to find motivation. She looked horrified at me, and said, “Eww Gross! I Don’t wanna see their skin! They wear those baby-shorts, and are gross!” Then she said, “Some of them were even shirtless!” She was absolutely horrified to have been “exposed” to the sight of the human body.
Her reaction really had me baffled, so I went into the kitchen, to ask the cook what her opinion was of these participants. She had the same exact reaction! Since She is definitely into both men and women, I kinda figured she would have a little different take on the eye candy of both men and women. I was wrong. She was equally disgusted to have seen these people.

I was completely baffled. Here were two people who always talk about how much they like the eye-candy with the people who come through our work-area, and love to flirt with them, yet on this day they were both thoroughly disgusted. They were disgusted, and put-off by people who were happy, positive, and healthy. I asked some more questions to attempt to understand why both of these women were offended by what would be considered model citizens of our world. I pointed out that these people were happy, healthy, positive, encouraging, fit, and an inspiration. To this, both of these women replied, “But they are gross! Who wants to see their bodies?” I asked if it would be different if these same people were covered head to toe in baggy clothes. One of the gals said “These people are just gross.” The other one said “These are not the people I am attracted to.” So, of course I asked why that would make them so hate-filled toward them. Why would they not be happy for them? Why would they choose to hate? Why would they not want to be around positive, energetic, happy people? They did not understand what I was asking. I tried to explain about how the happy, positive, healthy, active, and motivating people are the ones who work to make our world a decent place to live. They looked at me like I was some sort of alien. They could not fathom anything positive about these people. I just walked away shaking my head.

Their attitude helped me to understand why we had no business from this crowd. I had asked to work for this event, and I know one of the other cashiers would have loved to also! We would be thrilled to work around happy, positive people, but management decided to put the haters on instead. I know the management was not happy about opening early for this event, and it would seem they wished to make sure we had no sales, so we would not do this regularly. I will never understand this mentality.

As I went through the rest of that day, I heard from many others how “offensive” this group of people were. I heard from so many people I work with complaining about having to “put up with this group of people”. (But Sadly, these same people seem to think the drunks, and crack-heads are not a problem!) I heard from security how they hated being forced to work “with all these freaks”, referring to the runners. I heard more racist remarks that day than any other day. Vegas is one of the most racist places I have ever lived. But for some reason, racism is not frowned upon here, and when people are racist in the work-place, it is somehow acceptable. Every single person who complained, I would attempt to see why they took this view. I would ask how the color of someone’s skin, or even the sight of someone’s skin made them a target for hatred. (And it may surprise you that it is not the people, or color you might suspect making the racist remarks.) I would ask why someone’s event-appropriate attire somehow made them “Gross”. I asked how come the very people who employ them, and sign their paycheck are somehow considered freaks. For some odd reason, this makes the complainers, racists, and haters look at me like I don’t belong, and how dare I go against their group-hatred of the positive people of the world. How dare I take a stand against racism, and hatred. How dare I look for positive, healthy, happy, encouraging people. How dare I defend those who were being bashed when they were not there to defend themselves. How dare I point out that the people they were calling freaks and gross, knew how to enjoy life.

I recalled hearing the same type of comments from so many people in Vegas when The Zappos Marathon, and Half-marathon took place in town. The comments made about “having to view the half-naked-runners” or “how gross those people were” just amazed me. For some reason if people are not on drugs, drunk, or just lazy, they are somehow considered gross, or offensive. If this is offensive, I wish more of our society would be offensive! Could you imagine? If the majority of our “offensive society” was considered so because they were happy, healthy, active, positive, drug free people? Oh that would be so wonderful!
What has happened to our society that the human body has somehow become “Gross”? What has happened that the people who are positive, happy, healthy, encouraging, motivating, and wonderful role models are reduced to “Gross”? What has happened that these people are now a minority, and looked down upon? What has happened that the people who provide the jobs, seek solutions, and encourage others are looked upon as “Gross”?

How is it that our society has decided to look at any flesh they see as “Disgusting”? Yet, somehow at the same time those very people are lining up to go watch strippers, view porn, and would do anything to see a naked body… but only if they view it as sexual, illicit, or sneaky, creepy, or voyeuristic. But to see the human body in a natural, positive way… forbidden!

Come on people! Wake up, and get back to living life! Recognize the human body for exactly what it is. It is the vessel in which we exist in this life on Earth. It is the thing of beauty that is incredible in all its infinite detail. It is The Most Complex machine ever created. There is no technology invented that can even compare to the incredible detail in which we live. Fine, forget about all the intricate details happening on the inside… just look at the skin. Can you find a more complex wonderful, versatile substance ever created? There is no other substance on Earth that can fix itself. No other substance so flexible, versatile, or has the feeling/ sensitivity to all variables as the skin. No other substance protects so well, yet is also so delicate. No one has ever truly understood all the infinite details that make up our incredible living forms. Our bodies have more life, more information, more joy, more wonder, and more potential than anything ever created by a human. Of all the billions of humans on This Earth, no two are alike. Every single one is a unique, mind-boggling creation of infinite detail. Each one was created a slightly different shape, color, and size. Each one is created as an amazing work of art to be cherished, loved, enjoyed, and taken care of. Each and every human body is beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and cannot be compared to anything else on this Earth.

Ok, so you do not wish to recognize that the human body is the most amazing thing ever created. I challenge you to create something that is equally as amazing, yet at the same time, make billions of that something, making sure that there are no two ever alike. I challenge you to create anything that is as beautiful, has as much feeling, is an incredibly mind-boggling thing that can do so much in life. Go ahead, create anything you wish…

…and when you finally realize that there is nothing any one of us can possibly create that even comes close, then, and only then can you allow yourself to understand that The Human Body is not “Gross”, or that Humans are “Freaks” because they do not look like you do.

Only once you realize that when you see the Human body, you are viewing THE MOST AMAZING thing Ever created, will you allow yourself to view it without disgust, hatred, racism, or any other thing that makes you hate other Humans solely based on their skin.

The Human Body is not “Gross”. How some choose to behave with their own bodies could be considered gross… but you need to recognize that it is the behavior of that human you hate, not the body in which that human exists. And once you recognize that it is a behavior you hate, you will learn to not hate the shape, size, color, or form of The Human Body.

Still not convinced?
You still think any viewing of The Human Body is “Gross”?
Try looking at it this way:

Suppose you viewed the outer-shell of anything in life you love… maybe it is a car, a piece of furniture, a building, a home, a computer, a TV, a camera, a book. It could be the wrapping of a candy-bar, or any kind of container a product comes in. It could be anything that is the most-visible outer-shell of anything you value in life. If you looked at these items the same way you do a human, you would suddenly be filled with hatred toward that item. Why? Is that wrapper of your favorite candy bar suddenly obscene? Is that case that holds your camera suddenly offensive because it is a different color than someone else’s camera? Is that car a different shape from the one parked next to it? Suppose you live in a brick building. Would that make the wood building next door somehow offensive, or gross?

Hmmm… It would seem the things we love in life are very similar to humans… each one is created similarly, but with a slightly different exterior. We value all of these things based on what is inside that wrapper. We do not base our desire, or appreciation solely on the exterior. We look for what is contained on the inside.
So, shouldn’t we be offended by the skin of the car? Shouldn’t we be offended by the glass, wood, brick and metal which make up a building, house, church, school, or other structure we visit regularly? Buildings do not exist solely for us to look at. The reason for these buildings to exist is because we need, and enjoy what is on the inside. Most often when you go someplace, and enter a building, it is because of what you need that is located inside that skin. We are drawn to those places because of what they offer, and often ignore the details of the exterior of that building. When we look for a place that offers what we seek, we do not first search by what the exterior looks like. We search based on our needs. The exterior is often not considered, or noticed, until we have decided if we like what is on the inside.

If we see beautiful photos taken by a friend, aren’t we glad they captured those, and allowed us to view them? We do not instantly think about what color, shape, or brand their camera is, or even the details of what makes that camera so wonderful. We see the beauty that was created by that camera. The way the camera looks is not a factor in whether or not we like the photo. Or, more often, we see striking photos captured by someone we have never met. You do not instantly stop and try to figure out what color, shape, size, or age the skin was of the photographer to decide if you like the photo you are viewing. It may come later, but we do not decide if we like the photo based on the exterior of that camera, or the exterior of the person who took the photo.

When we eat food, we do not make our decisions based solely on the wrapper, container, or plate on which the food arrives. We base our eating decisions on what the actual food is, and how it will nourish our bodies. Sometimes we choose food to satisfy a specific craving, but most of the food we consume is based upon the needed nutrients that we currently need to continue living. Could you imagine if you decided on the foods you liked solely on the color, shape, or size of that wrapped it was delivered in? No… we choose our foods by what is on the inside of that wrapper. We all eat at restaurants. Seldom do we see the people cooking and preparing our food. We do not order food based on what the color, shape, size, or age of the cook might or might not be. But we enjoy our food, and seldom, if ever give the skin of the cook any thought. But would that food suddenly be either better, or worse, just because we could see what the cook’s skin was like?

When we view something a computer has done, our first thought is not what the shape, size, color, or brand of that computer is. Instead, we marvel at the complexities, and understanding that it took for that computer to do what made us take notice. Humans are the same way… when we see people doing extraordinary feats, shouldn’t we marvel at what it took to make that happen? Shouldn’t we look at the effort, training, understanding, and will-power it took for that human to be able to run all the way up the stairs of The Stratosphere Tower? But instead, we see their skin, and are somehow offended.
If we solely based our likes and dislikes in this world the same way we view The Human Body, could you imagine how ridiculous that would be? Yet, for some reason many people choose to hate another human based on their skin. They look at humans as gross, because they somehow got the idea that the exterior is somehow unappealing, and should not be seen. Sure, some humans are indeed ugly… but that has nothing to do with their exterior. Ugly is a personality, a character, a behavior that is from within that human. There is no such thing as an ugly human on the outside. Think about any time you have found spoiled food. I can guarantee the food has spoiled, is bad, or in some way is offensive… but the wrapper of that food is no different than when that food was good. The wrapper is still a beautiful thing, and has not changed. What is spoiled is on the inside. The same is true with humans. The wrapper, or skin is not what determines a person’s character… that is on the inside.

The next time you decide to hate a human based on their skin, I hope you can see past the shallowness, and look at what is on the inside. That skin you hate is only the wrapper… you might just be surprised at what you find on the inside!

I understand that many people somehow have the idea that the human body is somehow obscene. How they have gotten this idea I cannot understand. There are even a few states in The U.S. that have made the human body illegal, but thankfully, there are not many that narrow minded! Most states have made laws against anything obscene, lewd, or publicly sexual. The focus of those laws is on behavior, not the human skin. Sadly, however, many people have confused the human body as somehow being obscene, lewd, or sexual. Those people somehow got the notion that the human body is somehow illegal. Only when our world decides to stop calling something as innocent as the human body something it is not will we finally be allowed to see humans as just that… we are human, we are not illegal, or gross, and should not be labeled as such.

I am sure some of what I write will offend many people… I say good! If they are offended because they have been judging people based on their skin, then they deserve to be offended. Do I believe for a moment that what I say and write will finally get them to look at humans in a more appreciative way? Nope. But if I can get them to stop hating based on skin for even half a minute, then I have accomplished more that I would have by not saying anything. Would I love it if many people actually started to look past the skin? Yes! I can hope…. Maybe someone who reads this will share it with another. Maybe someone will stop hating based solely on skin. Maybe there are a few who will see this that have not been aware they were judging solely on the skin of a human, and they will appreciate having it brought to their attention. Maybe there are people who have been copying their supposed role models in life, and will be glad to learn there is a different way to see people.

If my voice helps make this world a better place, then that is why I exist. I have not given up on humans, and as long as I am on this Earth I will continue to try and find more to find joy in! May you find joy on This Earth, too… and hopefully help another find it as you go! I appreciate your stopping by and reading what’s on my mind! JOn ~=:-)