We humans love our boxes.
We’re Democrat or Republican in the US, or Liberal or Labour, Greens or Nationals in Australia.
If we’re religious, we’re Hindu or Buddhist or Christian or Muslim.
Even within religions there are boxes. We’re Baptist or Catholic or Pentecostal.
Horse people are ropers or dressage riders or western pleasure or jumpers.
And many humans think their box is the best.
Some even try to convert others to their box or, worse, fling arrows at those who are not in their box. Some can get quite hateful, especially when politics or religion is their box.
Some have killed those of different boxes.
I suppose psychologists would say it is the evolutionary urge to belong to the safety of a tribe. After all, horses have herds.
But horses don’t often go out of their way to destroy the other herds (unless it is stallions vying for mares). They don’t waste their energy in hating those who are in a different herd to them. They look across the plains at the horses on the other side of the valley and then go right back to peacefully grazing.
We could learn a lot from them. We can be different without despising, disagree without dishonouring, stay in our boxes and admire the colours and wrappings of other boxes.
The brave venture out of their boxes, leaving labels behind, wandering around and through and between the various boxes, greeting, befriending, even loving those inside or outside the other boxes.
It doesn’t mean we agree or even condone their behaviour, but is judgement our assignment? What if, instead of judging or fearing the differences, we merely loved?
Mireya and Sofia above, very different horses, are loving each other in mutual scratching.