MAY 10, 2015 by Stephen McLaren
Labels ..aye.. but only ane - 'OCH' !

‘Och’ is/was commonly used in Scots dialect and it arises from amongst others, the languages of the Germanic Anglo Saxon settlers in south east Scotland in the 7th century.  “Och . . dinnae fash yersel”  “Och  . . e’m awa tae ma bed”     “Och . . get awa wi ye”      “Och . . yer jokin”

The world's peoples should adopt the mantra of  ‘Our Common Humanity’ – ‘OCH’.   The human race is comprised of males and females who, being fertile, and regardless of race, colour, culture or creed, and even if they come from different ends of the planet . . . can reproduce another human !  How much more common can you get than that ?

We are  a single species – humankind – (homo sapiensalthough sometimes you might wonder where did the ‘sapiens’ go?)  . . and the tradition of glorifying that with labels of whatever sort can be and are often divisive.  We come into  our world, not with any belief system or world-view with ready-to-wear thoughts about the world,  so there's no such thing as a Christian child, a Muslim child or a Buddhist child, a Hindu or an unwaveringly immoral child. Nor will you find an atheist, socialist, liberal, conservative or extremist child.

This is what Wordsworth meant when he said that a child is the ‘best philosopher’ of all.  For  belief systems of whatever sort can claim superiority over others  and are often used in society and communities to categorise children and people into separate groups, whereby some difference is perceived.  The imperative of CH is lost.  In the absence of an imposed  substantial belief system, children can think widely and freely. And rather than being hindered by their lack of knowledge, their limited education prevents the arrogance and generalising which arises from individual experience, that all too often pollutes our adult world-views.

We engage with all the equality strands . . age; disability; ethnicity; faith & belief; gender; pregnancy/maternity; race; sexual orientation etc and our ethos founded on OCH, allows us to speak from that understanding, with the imperative of absolute acceptance of diversity, compatible with the rights of others.    And with rights comes responsibility, both individual and collective. Applying that to the local level, ‘OCH’ enhances the empowerment that arises from coordinated interest, involvement and action by like-minded humans. 

We can therefore talk  unanimity !   It’s a powerful platform from which to act, on any issue.

Ref link   Values in Harmony     

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