PREJUDICE, HATE, DISCRIMINATION
Yesterday I was at a social event to give it a glorified name. In the midst of drunken conversation, a woman was bringing up a current issue of hate towards women by the media. The woman herself was large and it would not take a rocket scientist to figure out that she has had her share of discrimination and social judgement a time or two. A gentleman, her conversing companion, with a stroke of genius decides to ask the lady if she pays any attention when people talk ill of her own weight and size.
‘For a start, people think I am pregnant when they look at me’ the lady started a reply which was followed by howling laughter from the drunken idiot and my dear friend. The lady then responded by telling them that a lady never forgets anything done to her, whether in ten or fifteen years. The moment seemingly passed as they moved on to another topic. I, however, was not done with it.
I am yet to be programmed to see any sort of prejudice or discrimination and overlook it. I implored my friend regarding his decision to laugh at the lady. He himself a man who isn’t far from a few hateful comments if one was intent on it. How does one throw a rock at someone else’s body image issues when you have your own cooking in abundance in your kitchen? My friends reply was that the lady did not mind. To me, that does not form a reasonable answer from an adult male.
Have we lost our own bearings of right and wrong to the point where we gauge right or wrong based on people’s reactions? If a woman is being battered by her husband but she doesn’t mind, does that make the battery any less wrong or cruel? People do develop thick skin to go through life the best way they can. However, we should not take advantage of their strength to laugh at them. They may look alright but you have no idea what demons people have to deal with when they are all alone.
I would wish for people to be keepers of each other, defenders of the defenseless and champions of right and wrong where the people being wronged don’t have an idea about it. I am not being political or asking anyone to be. What I ask is for all of us to be human. Put yourself in another person’s shoe and be the change you wish to see in the world; as Mahatma Gandhi said. When we reflect morals on what feelings people show to be brave or to save face then I fear for what generation we are raising.
This brings me to the issue of the numerous discriminations that happen all over the world. Everyone has a prejudice against someone and for one reason or the other; society has taught us that it is alright to be hateful of others with no moral conscience to haunt us. People discriminate on regional basis, skin color, tribal lines, sexual preferences, religion and whatever preferences may exist out there. Basically, where there is difference, humanity finds discrimination. And we have become so accustomed to it that we no longer pay attention to some of the discrimination prevalent in society or even the hateful comments we make from time to time.
I am not sure how I can save the whole world and teach all of us to accept one another, respect the differences that each of us choose to embrace, and celebrate our differences. I do not know how I can reach the billions but what I can do is start with the few around me. One more human educated is one less human discriminating against others. The hate did not begin in one day and it was not poured over the universe like rain, and thus I believe the small steps we take will eventually lead us to a world free of prejudice and discrimination.
Teach the person next to you to view the people around them as people belonging to the same race, sharing the same emotional turmoil that they themselves have. At the end of the day, this is what makes us human; not the color of our skin, the straightness of our hair, what religion we subscribe to, or our gender or sexual preferences. At the end of the day, each and every human being feels. We have the capacity to be hurt by words and statements and also to be healed by the same words and statements. Let your words heal and not injure anyone.
There are many problems that exist in the world, and at a closer look, most of them begin with discrimination. One human feeling he is better than another. He believes that he has a right to be afforded better services or treatment than the next, either because of one reason or the other. If I am a woman, I did not choose it, so why should I be accorded less respect than the next man just because I was born female? Same goes for being born black/ white, gay/straight, fat/ skinny.
It is about time the human race was enlightened enough to appreciate each other for all our differences and concentrate on building one global nation that is driven by love instead of hate. And it starts with you and with me.
THE TURNING POINT
Conflicts, personal turbulence, irritation,
Life choices, happiness, tears, laughter, joy, anger…
Hope, hopelessness, peace, faith, fear, courage, fear…
Words, emotions, hardships, pain, love…
My mind is a craze,
A muffle of ideas not being let out to breathe
Sadness trying to surpass its way through the darkness to find the light
Shame for having dreams that eventuality is unknown
It’s all craziness that cannot be understood with the state of the world.
Pain, is what I face from the understanding of the road to the future
They say that to be great one has to go through the pain
Hardships build character
Resilience is the key to success
What if I am not strong enough for the resilience or the hardship?
The pressure may crumble my feeble being,
My strength may not be equal to the task ahead
I may suffocate under the waves that my future holds
Is my head ready for the crown that I so yearn for?
The lack of knowledge is my current refuge.
You force me to get out of my comfort
For that, I am grateful…
I am still scared
It is better to dream than to fumble and fail after all
But again dreamers never achieve anything
It’s better to fail a thousand times and become triumphant eventually
I am sleepy…
I want to lie down and live in my dreams
Reality is too scary for me
Yet I need the validation that reality has
Dreams have long lost their meaning
I need to be awake as I achieve.