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The Wild Thornberries was a television cartoon on Nickelodeon when I was younger. To sum it up, I liked it because the main character was a little girl with braces and freckles and red hair that could talk to animals. Boom. I’m hooked. There was one episode I can vividly remember when Eliza finds two (I had to look up what a group of monkeys was called and apparently, it can be a “troop, barrel, carload, cartload, or tribe” – you’ve got to be kidding me) tribes¬†of monkeys that don’t get along. One group has long tails, the other has shorter. They’re fighting over trees or something. Eliza tricks them into wearing coconut “armor.”¬† When they start to fight the next day, they all realize they can’t tell each other apart when they’re wearing the coconuts because they all look the same without their tails showing. Moral of the story: we’re all monkeys.

When a person wearing riot gear walks up to another person sitting with a cardboard sign and sprays them in the face with pepper spray, you’re the monkey that’s thinking about their tail. When humans say other humans that pray to a different God are evil, they’re looking at the differences and not all of the similarities. When some people feel that if they can’t communicate with other people, the language barrier makes them “less” of a person. Less of a human. We’re all the same. We’re all fighting over the same things even if it sounds like that’s absolutely not the case. We’re all struggling, we’re all trying to figure out what’s true. But none of us will get anywhere if we only trust people that have the same length of tail. And I’ve seen it so many times, when some of us crazy monkeys put on some armor and forget about their differences, pretty incredible things can happen. Like the realization that all this fighting is just a waste of time.

Today it was 102F today and it felt like 111F. People are dying in India and Paris from the heat. I was sweating walking my dog at 12:30pm. But instead of actively doing something about this ridiculous climate, the few people that are trying to do something, anything, are getting sprayed in the face with chemicals humans created to hurt other humans. We’re all monkeys. When you forget that and think you’re a better one, the forest burns down before the war has ended. Now, who is going to make us realize that?

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