I have been blessed with an open mind, where the idea of being better than someone else because of my skin color, my hair color, my eye color, whatever it may be, means absolutely nothing. I have been blessed with an open heart, where the words “racism”, “discrimination”, and “judgement” do not exist, and never, for as long as I live, ever will. I have been blessed with a set of eyes that are always wide open, in hopes that I will see and learn cultures unfamiliar to me. I have been blessed with open hands, that will hold and help the hand next to me, whoever that person may be. I say the word “blessing”, because there are too many people in this world who do not share my outlook on life; who were taught to be close-minded and therefore cannot see anything beyond themselves. I am not a perfect person, no, I am in fact far, far from perfect, but the difference between myself and someone who puts themselves above others, is the fact that I make that effort to break down the racial barriers that STILL plague our world today. And THAT is a blessing; to put race, sex, religious preferences aside and to treat everyone as you would a friend.
I have been meaning to write a blog post about this topic for a while, but of course, I pushed it on the back burner, always coming up with a new or better topic to write about. But the fact is, this issue is something that affects each and every one of us…this is something that EVERYONE understands and is prevalent in each of our lives, no matter what shape it may take. Maybe you are on the receiving end of this, where people run to conclusions about who you “MUST” be and determine your character without so much as saying a “hello” to you. Or, maybe unintentionally, you are the one who is doing the judging. Maybe you are the one who continually makes racist jokes or feels uncomfortable when talking to someone you consider “out of your comfort zone”. No matter which end of this spectrum you are on, just admitting you are simply “on” the spectrum sadly admits that this is an issue that occurs each and every day.
With the recent court ruling in the George Zimmerman/Treyvon Martin case, I knew that there was no better time than now to write about something like this. Now, I’m not going to go into the details of who I think was right, and who I think was wrong in that court case, because that is not what I want to focus on. Rather, the fact that this is even an ISSUE in today’s day and age is what has me completely baffled.
Right now, life in 2013 has been the most convenient, most connected, most in touch, and most knowledgeable generation EVER, in the history of the world. We can chat with someone that lives oceans apart from us, we can have our groceries delivered to our front door step, we can find the name, birth date, job information, address, phone number, and ex girlfriends of someone all within a matter of SECONDS. We get news updates immediately when something is happening, even if it is on the other side of the world, and through social media, we can connect and interact with celebrities, politicians, and basically, anyone who is anyone. But yet, even with all this power that we now possess literally at the push of a button, we STILL cannot find a way to treat others as equals. We can’t seem to find a way to part with this shallow and uneducated way of thinking that we are better than someone else simply because of the way we look, our religious preferences, sexual orientation..etc. We simply cannot muster up the POWER to stop this way of thinking.
Well, guess what? What you look like, where you were born, whether you are attracted to men or women…it’s all a matter of straight COINCIDENCE. You have no say in what you look like, no opinion in what kind of religious upbringing you want to be a part of, and no voice in which country you are born in. You didn’t wake up one morning and “decide” to be black or white, gay or straight, Muslim or Christian. Put simply, it was just through a whole lotta luck that you were born the way you were. You could have SO easily been born and raised in a country much different than the one you are living in today, in which your freedoms could be counted on two hands and every decision was already decided for you. Be thankful for what you have and where you live, but do not, under any circumstance, consider yourself BETTER than the person next to you, who may have experienced this world much differently than the way you have.
Think about it. Women were granted the right to vote less than one hundred years ago, and yet now, it is silly to even imagine a time when women did not possess this right. Think about slavery and the time when African Americans were denied the right to vote. It seems so…close minded. Right? And yet now we think it is ok to deny two people who love each other the right to marry. Turn the tables and think about how you would react and how you would feel if someone told you you couldn’t marry someone because it violated their religious beliefs? Now, I’m just saying this for sake of example, but this is the kind of discrimination that fuels the endless amount of hate and intolerance in this world.
My opinions and my views on how people should be treated should not be categorized in any kind of “political” context. I do not consider myself to be left wing nor right wing. Rather, I like to think of myself of someone that is just open minded and someone who realizes that we are all just people. People that all share the same hopes, dreams, and goals. We all want to be happy. We all want to make our mark on the world. We all want to be loved. And that’s the bottom line, isn’t it? To be happy…to be free…to be treated as an equal.
Life is too short to possess these prejudices. This world will open its arms to you if you go into it unbiased and free of judgement.
That is, if you let it.
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