The crushing news of the recent events in Christchurch & resulting grief felt by humanity, has left me feeling empty, bitter, uninspired & all-in-all hopeless.
I use journaling as an avenue for self reflection & expression. So here it is. My therapy, in an attempt to deal with these emotions & also honour victims all over the world, of needless (and frankly, pitiful) hate, misguided judgement & abuse. May you Rest In Peace or heal, know you are loved and be able to move forward.
In my life of over 30 years, I’ve experienced firsthand or indirectly (but closely);
- domestic violence, drug & alcohol addiction and homelessness in my teens; and
- Racial discrimination, sexual harassment / molestation / depravation & abuse my whole life
My mother is a brown skinned Muslim Indonesian. My father is an atheist, blue eyed Caucasian. I didn’t come from a well off family, but we were comfortable. My mum grew up in a poor and remote village in Indonesia before meeting my Dad and moving to Australia. In primary school, other children would tease me by saying my Mum was an FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) or a catalogue bride. Looking back, I have no idea how an 11 year old child could know such terminology.
I didn’t complete my formal education, due to difficult times during my teens, although I am often described as intelligent. I also have Crohn’s disease and have first hand experienced judgement based on paper credentials and discrimination in the workplace of an illness that has no impact on my work performance. In fact, I have worked very hard to not give reason for this.
All of the above, has formed my adult mind, not to hate those that have mistreated me or my loved ones, but to realise it is ALL WRONG. Any judgement and abusive behaviour because somebody is different to you, is wrong.
This world would not be half as impressive, formed and advanced as it is without the wonderful diversity so many people seem to despise. A planet of clones would be very boring and stunted from growth, I assure you.
Why do some people feel superior to everyone and everything else? What part of the brain or early learning aspect makes you feel that way? And why do some of us just not have it?
Why do we value a society that allows this superiority complex? Be it through caste systems, disparity in standard of living / poverty & wealth, gender inequality, cruelty to animals, disregard for the environment, I know I am only naming a few here.
Stop alienating others for simply being different to you.
At some time in your life, you have or will benefit from people with those characteristics you discriminate against. A woman (your mother or maybe your strong, supportive wife). A man (maybe your loving father or husband). Your child, (maybe lesbian, bisexual, gay, transsexual or intersex). Products or technology needed to help you live comfortably, or afford to live, invented or manufactured in a foreign country. A Muslim nurse / doctor that saves your life. A Christian builder, who built your family home, or invented the medicine to cure your illness or the teacher of your child. A combination of these people, of human beings, having “differentiating traits” over history have helped the human race get to where we are now. We ALL have some trait that makes us different & a potential target for bigotry. Look closely in that mirror.
Do you want your grandchildren to grow up in a world without the breathtaking landscapes, awe inspiring oceans, animal species and plant life we enjoy today? To not breathe fresh air. To not live healthy, fulfilled lives.
Get a grip people. We need each other. Every person and thing that has existed, exists now and in the future… matters. You may never fully understand their purpose but they have at least one. Just like you do. Even if it does seem to be an insignificant purpose to you… the world doesn’t revolve around you, nor are you the one to make that call.
Open your eyes, your mind and then your hearts.