Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Dolphins and Discrimination

I wrote this allegory to capture observations on discrimination that would not be safe to utter plainly. There are at least three lessons here.

Dolphins - an allegory on discrimination

(C) Sam Liddicott 2012
sam@liddicott.com

There were some Dolphins on the windward side of an Island. Like most dolphins, they sometimes behaved aggressively toward each-other.

There were some Dolphins on the leeward side of the Island. Like most dolphins, they sometimes behaved aggressively toward each-other.

In time, some of the windward dolphins became particularly aggressive towards the leeward Dolphins, for no other reason than that they were leeward dolphins, and often hunted them out, or ganged up to attack lone dolphins. This became a particular concern for the leeward Dolphins who began to question their own aggressiveness between each-other.

In time, the attacks of the windward dolphins became so aggressive that the leeward dolphins would often be severely wounded or killed. Sometimes the leeward Dolphins would respond with violent attacks of their own but these did little to change the persistent behaviour of some of the windward dolphins.

When the continual violence of the windward dolphins became too much to bear, the great dolphin sent an Orca to deliver this message:

That although they were all brothers, the windward dolphins would in future be reborn as leeward dolphins, both to experience the effects of their behaviour and perhaps in time to temper the violence of the windward dolphins to their own reborn brothers.

The leeward dolphins were horrified when they heard this. They idea of living with and sharing life and love with those who had so badly treated them - and not be able to recognise them - was repugnant to them and made light of their injuries (they said).

Don't worry, said the orca, they will continue to behave violently towards those who do not appear the same as themselves, and so you will know who they are. Don't hate them, or you may become like them; love them because they will also protect you from the windward dolphins.

I count at least three morals in this tale.

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