How big is your Circle ?

The CircleHow do we divide ourselves ? Is it by caste / by language / by religion / by nationality / by race / by species ?

I take a stick and draw a small circle in the sand. The sand particles inside the circle ‘belong’ and the sand particles outside the circle are the ‘others’.
By the very act of drawing a circle , I have divided. Some of us feel enlightened when we draw bigger circles and feel that we are inclusive and righteously turn up our noses at people who draw the smaller ones.


Long ago there were two ants who were good friends. One day, during their daily wanderings for food, one ant found some sugar and one found some honey. Both gorged on it and decided to search for it everyday. Soon, the ant’s families started eating the same thing. Several generations later, two distinct colonies of ants had emerged. Those which ate only sugar and those which ate only honey. In a matter of time, each tried to belittle the other and became staunch enemies. A sugar ant would be afraid of being alone with honey ants and vice a versa. Several generations down the line, the honey and sugar ants had acquired several sub classes. They had also started praying for sustenance to a Sugar God and a Honey God. Daily, couple of ants would be massacred as they fought over ‘My God is superior to your God’.
These ants had huge colonies and had built enormous ant hills under a shade of trees.

One day, humans came and they were chopping down trees to widen the road. Suddenly a man spotted the ant hills and they decided that the ant hills would have to be leveled. They brought huge cans of insecticide with sprays. As they sprayed the insecticide , the entire colony of ants was wiped out and the sugar ants and honey ants lay dead side by side. The man who held the spray turned to his helper and grinned ‘Looks like we just wiped out a whole generation of ants’.

2 thoughts on “How big is your Circle ?

  1. PhillyGuy

    Call it the tribal mentality, call it human nature, call it evolution, whatever it is, it is deeply ingrained in our psyches. We practice it while growing up when some friends are “closer”, we practice it as adults – go an Indian party in the states, and you will find clusters of people neatly arranged by their mother tongues! Its sad. But awareness is the first step and at least you notice it. Cheers for that! At least as far as India goes, caste and language divisions are slowly melting away. Religion am not so sure about. Nationalism and patriotism are still held in high esteem even in the most democratic societies. My country right or wrong they say, but what about the value system that defines that country? What if that itself is being threatened by the actions of your “country”? If racial/caste discrimination is bad, would future generations say the same thing about religion/nations?

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