When I see the “others” in my community I only see them for what they choose to present to the public. It is difficult to imagine these people as dealing with any struggles or difficulties. I always have to remind myself that even “others” have emotions and experiences similar to mine. It is difficult to understand who a person is based off of what you see from afar. I think that the inability to understand an “other’s” emotions and thoughts makes them “other.” I think that a person is an “other” until you make a personal connection with them even if it is an insignificant one. Having a different lifestyle and different interest also makes a person an “other.” It is hard to imagine connecting with or understanding someone you have nothing in common with. This may cause people to write others off and put them in the “others” category.
One institution that divides me from “them” is being on the soccer team. This creates a divide because not only do teammates stick together, but teams also tend to hang out mainly with other teams. This creates a divide between athletes and the rest of the Dickinson population. Another institution that divides me from them is classes. Although I have friends in all grades, I mainly associate myself with people in my grade and the grade below me. Another practice that divides me from the “others” is attending college. This creates a group of “others” that is different from the majority. It is hard to imagine what life would be like if I did not go to college because everyone that I associate with attends or has attended college.
The barriers between “them” and “us” can be overcome through integration between the self and the “other.” By exploring other social groups or communities of people we are able to gain an understanding of who they are and why they have made certain choices in life. Everyone has met someone who turned out to be different than what was expected. The most significant barrier between “them” and “us” is the tendency to make assumptions and pass judgements on people we do not even know. This barrier can be overcome by only judging people off of the personal experiences one has had with them firsthand. People should always form their own opinions of a person instead of writing him or her off based on another person’s experience.