Combating intolerance around us
The growing intolerance all around is taking lives. Be it India or the US, it has always been a matter of life and death. We can’t tolerate different opinion, color, race, religion or even something natural that we don’t feel comfortable with (you know what I mean?) We are trying to become global citizens but we are always seeking out our people, our culture, our color.
Diversity is one reason I admire the United States of America for. It is truly a place where people from all the world come and make a life for themselves. They get to interact regularly, which makes them understand each other’s struggles too.
When I think of racism and how I can participate in the larger social movement to end it, all I can think of is interacting more with people from diverse backgrounds. So instead of questioning others, ask yourself.
What am I doing to ensure that the future generation is more sensitive towards these issues? We all know that these issues will continue to exist for a long time.
I am trying to talk to more people from diverse backgrounds. These could be race, color, culture or sexual orientation. More often than not, I see people seeking out people of their country, culture or at least language. Well language makes some sense. I personally have interacted with an old Swedish lady and a young Korean woman without having a common language between us.
Let’s come back to culture and religion? Or color? Are we not evolved enough to understand that being a part of a closed group with too many similarities closes the mind too?
Yes sometimes you need the familiar. So that you feel safe. But don’t teach your children to only mingle with the familiar, when it comes to color, culture or country. Let them interact with everyone. Let them mingle with anyone they want to, at the playground. Stop forcing your preconceived notions on them. Let them decide who they like and who they don’t.
I often witness a Tamil seeking a Tamil, a Mexican trying to get close to a Mexican or a Korean trying to only mingle with other Koreans. And there are not the only ones.
Instead of sticking to find my roots in people of my origin, I want to interact with people who come from different culture, religion or race. For this, you don’t need to be in the US or India or any particular country. You need to be exactly where you are. Look around. See someone different? Go talk to them. In your community, in your neighborhood, at your workplace. Know them. I can guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.
Dialogue leads to sensitivity. The more we get to know people, the more we realize that we are all the same underneath.
We all want to be loved and cherished. We all love our families. We are all insecure about losing them. We all get crazy once in a while, but that’s what makes us human isn’t it?
When we open our hearts to people, they open their hearts too. And that’s where compassion begins.
Let’s make conversation. Let’s embrace the unfamiliar.