Day 267 Question 267:
Do you believe yourself to be racist or prejudice in any way?
This is a question in which majority of people would immediately answer no. Racism and prejudice are such negative things that none of us can possibly believe that we are either of them. Right now in my life I believe I am not racist but I am sure I hold some prejudices. Prejudice is such a wide open idea and sometimes it can be easy to judge someone or make assumptions about someone simply based on their differing viewpoints.
This world is made up of billions of people and in a lifetime we would never possibly be able to meet everyone and hear their story. There is so much I do not understand about how other people live…whether they be people residing in the same area as I do or people living on the other side of the world. I believe in the past I was prejudice. I did make assumptions about entire groups of people, usually because of the actions of only a few. It took me a long time to see how wrong that was….it was learned though. I we learn something we can unlearn it if we choose to but it does not necessarily come easily. It took me a long time to stop following the majority and listen to what my gut was telling me. Even the most violent and hateful person has a story and although their actions might be disgusting, who am I to make assumptions as to why they are the way they are??? I would never know if I did not ask the questions and there are some people that are just too far out of reach. I don’t know if I am making any sense here.
I have faults and flaws and I have made many bad decisions throughout my journey called life. I am learning though. I have realized how important awareness is in determining who we are as people. I cannot truly know if I am or have been racist or prejudice if I do not know the true definition of either of those and when it is laid out on the line, it comes down to being honest with oneself. We may not like to see ourselves in a negative light or admit the faults that we have but when we do (at least for me) there is a sense of freedom. When we actually see the things we are guilty of and the wrongful actions we have taken, we are then able to change. I have found that one of the hardest things in life is being able to accept yourself and breaking out of the mold of who everyone else wants you to be. Hatred and anger are not natural and prejudice and racism are not natural. These are ignorances that have been passed on through words and actions and because the cycle has been going on for so long some people are unable to see the way out….or simply do not want to. For myself, I had to take time for just myself and decide how I truly felt. I had to think about whether or not I believed things because other people told me to believe them or whether I truly felt that way. I found out that I was living in someone else’s mold and I have now taken the steps to break free. I appreciate the education I have received and the mentoring and there are so many ideas and ideals that I agree with but I love my individuality. I love to be able to choose what feels right and I feel like I am one of the lucky ones that sees the beauty of the world even through all of the destruction and chaos. It sometimes angers people when I defend others but I only do this because I do not know everyone’s stories. I am far from “perfect” and I will make snap judgments and assumptions and I will choose to negate people from my life. Having an awareness of these things is what helps take the prejudice away and continually reminds me that I do not want people to make assumptions about me so it would be unfair for me to make assumptions about them.