Well, I’ve moved to Washington DC now for the next month and a half to work for the organization Project Kaleidoscope doing web design. Taking advantage of the ideal location of my housing on GW campus, I went for a walk down the National Mall, taking some photos along the way (Photos here) and stumbled across a huge body of calmly marching individuals decorated in the colorful garb of what must have been traditional to their culture.
This is DC. Stuff like this happens all the time, yet something grabbed me and caused a pause in my thoughts and motion. They carried signs reading “The problem of humanity is Human Dignity” as these thousands of men and women of all walks of life marched past Smithsonian museums and sculpture gardens along the national mall, finally gathering together at the Washington Monument.
Now, given the magnitude of the event, I expected to find articles in the Washington Post or CNN but I had to search further within Google to find any mention of the event. This was a gathering of a group called Swadhyay Parivar of North America. I have never heard of this national organization and I’m guessing the same is true of most, and yet it exists as part of the constituency of our country. The signs they hold talk about human dignity and the ties the bind us all together under the label of “human”.
I don’t know much about the beliefs and history of this group beyond a few articles I’ve just glanced through this afternoon, but there’s something simply about this event that could benefit each of us to think about. Our nation is a cooperation of millions of individuals characterized by unique qualities and beliefs. A cooperation. Life in this city should not be dictated by disputes between republicans and remocrats, whites and African Americans, men and women, or “native” Americans and immigrants. It should be about finding ways to come together and address the “problem of humanity”: Human Dignity.
As the march wrapped up and I walked past, I noticed a small cluster of people on the sidewalk about 100 feet from the edge of the Swadhyay gathering. They bore their own signs, saying “Defend American Borders”, “Threats to america”, “Not another 9/11, No more aliens”. I think they knew, though, seeing thousands of peaceful, responsible individuals challenging their perspective of people different than them, that their cause was a bit foolish. I think they know deep down that the divisions between us are much less important than those signs show.