Photo: Henrik Hemrin

Often, when we interact with other persons, we categorize other persons in relation to ourself. For example: Swedish - Foreigner, Black - White, Male - Female, and all kind of other ways to decide if the other person is Us or Them.

National Geographic Magazine, April 2018, International edition, has an interesting and hopeful article about this. The article is ”The things that divide us”, by David Berreby. He writes:

”People everywhere are ”identity crazed”, as the evolutionary psychologist John Tooby has put it. We can´t help it: We're wired from birth to tell Us from Them. And we inevitable (and sometimes unconsciously) favor Us - especially when we feel threatened.”

Further into the article, David Berreby writes:

”As the Robbers Cave experiment illustrated, human beings can shift their group perceptions in both directions. Sometimes we turn Us into Them. But we can also turn Them into Us.”

This is hopeful! Also strong division between different group of persons can be changed into friendship.

Henrik Hemrin

16 April 2018

This article is also published on LinkedIn

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