THE "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
- "The Mask of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe
We humans all share the same planet. From space, there are no boundaries, save for natural ones (the oceans, rivers, and high mountain ranges). There is a tribalism that we pass on from generation to generation, however, that seeks to divide us, to compartmentalize us, to instill an "us -vs- them" conflict that is unnecessary and harmful. Our xenophobic and racial and religious and cultural mistrust of "others" is like a scourge upon humanity. Even acknowledging its existence does not preclude us from engaging in wars both big and small. So much energy and time and money is employed in perpetuating it, that it prevents us (or perhaps at least retards us) from attaining those heights which would benefit us all.